Elder abuse awareness topic of Residents' Rights Month
SUNBURY - Across the country, the individual rights of long-term care residents will be honored for Residents' Rights Month.
Residents' Rights Month is an annual event held in October by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (The Consumer Voice) to celebrate and focus on awareness of dignity, respect and the value of long-term care residents.
The theme for Residents' Rights Month 2013 is "Speak Out Against Elder Abuse" with the goal of encouraging residents and others to be educated about and speak out against elder abuse.
"We want to help create a safe and secure environment for older adults and individuals with disabilities, no matter where they may happen to live," said Sarah F. Wells, Consumer Voice executive director.
Local facilities have been invited to schedule specialized training developed by P.E.E.R. residents throughout Pennsylvania and the state ombudsman office to educate staff about resident rights. Residents are also encouraged to attend.
The Nursing Home Reform Law, passed in 1987, guarantees nursing home residents their individual rights, including but not limited to: individualized care, respect, dignity, the right to visitation, the right to privacy, the right to complain and the right to make independent choices.
Residents who have made their home in nursing facilities, personal care homes and assisted living facilities maintain their rights as U.S. citizens.
The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has worked for more than 30 years to promote residents' rights daily. More than 8,000 volunteers and 1,000 paid staff are advocates for residents in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.
Authorized under the Older Americans Act and administered by the Administration on Aging, the program also provides information on how to find a facility, conducts community education sessions and supports residents, their families and the public with one-on-one consultation regarding long-term care. For more information contact Northumberland County Area Agency on Aging local ombudsman program at 322 N. Second St., Sunbury 17801, or 1-877-622-2251.