October is Residents’ Rights Month – an event that celebrates and promotes awareness of dignity, respect, and the rights of those in long-term care communities under the federal Nursing Home Reform Law of 1987. This year’s theme is “Stand for Quality,” which Consumer Voice says serves to emphasize the importance of quality in all aspects of residents’ experiences – quality care, quality of life, quality services, and quality choices. During the month-long event, residents, families, staff and other advocates are encouraged to work together to stand for and promote quality long-term care.
At our October NOAAP (Northeast Ohio Association of Activity Professionals) meeting we discussed the different ways that area skilled nursing communities and assisted living communities were educating their residents, staff and family members on residents’ rights this month and throughout the year. I wanted to share some of the ideas discussed to provide some inspiration.
- Play bingo or Jeopardy with employees and residents to refresh everyone on residents’ rights.
- Make large posters that define the residents’ rights and display them throughout the hallways of your communities.
- Review residents’ rights in each Resident Council meeting and discuss specific examples.
- Give residents and families a printed copy of their rights in their language of choice upon move-in.
- Show the movie “When You Remember Me,” the true story of how the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 came to be, where a teenager fights to have rights within a nursing facility and inspires others to fight for themselves. Then, discuss key scenes with staff for educational purposes.
- Hold a mock rally where residents make signs promoting their rights.
Members also shared their thoughts on the theme ‘Standing for Quality’ and what they do to provide and promote quality of care in their roles in long-term care. We got so many great responses! Here is a small sample of what members said they are doing to stand for quality at their respective communities...
- "I bring compassion to each and every one of our residents."
- "I bring a friendly face for fun and learning."
- "I bring smiles and laughter."
- "I put residents' needs above all else."
- "I advocate for resident preferences."
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care website has excellent resources to celebrate and promote Residents’ Rights Month with residents, families and employees. You can check them out here.
In addition to serving as President of NOAAP, where I organize fun and educational events like this one, I get to promote quality and continuity of care in my role at OnShift each and every day. Our innovative approach to recruitment, hiring, scheduling and engagement helps organizations provide the best resident care possible. I encourage you to take a tour of our suite of products if you haven’t yet!