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October is Residents' Rights Month

Posted on 10/03/2018
October is Residents' Rights MonthIn recognition of the hundreds of long-term care residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout Weld County, the Board of County Commissioners have proclaimed October as Residents’ Rights Month.

As people age and move into the next phase of life, many things change. However, one important thing does not: When moving into long-term care facilities, people retain their human and civil rights, also known as residents’ rights. Residents’ rights are guaranteed by the federal 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law, which requires nursing homes to care for residents in a manner that promotes and enhances the quality of life of each resident, ensuring dignity, choice and self-determination.

In Weld County, the residents’ rights of more than 800 individuals living in eight nursing homes and nearly 850 individuals residing in 25 assisted living facilities are promoted and protected by the Long-Term Care Ombudsman through the Department of Human Services’ Area Agency on Aging (AAA). To honor this year’s Residents’ Rights Month, AAA debuted both a YouTube video and brochure to focus on and celebrate awareness of dignity, respect and the rights of each long-term care resident. The Ombudsman will visit many long-term care facilities throughout the month of October to distribute brochures and show the video to interested residents and staff members.

At Monday’s board meeting, staff from AAA and The Bridge at Greeley assisted living facility joined together to celebrate the proclamation. Also in attendance was a very special guest: Willard, a long-term resident of The Bridge. A WWII veteran who will be celebrating his 99th birthday next month, Willard attends all resident council meetings and continues to care for and protect his neighbors at The Bridge.

“Growing older is a process that should be both celebrated and advocated, not just this month, but every day of the year,” said Weld County Commissioner Julie Cozad, who is also a member of the Colorado Commission on Aging. “Thank you, Willard, for being an advocate for your community and an inspiration for all of us to better serve our aging population.”

Nationally, October is annually designated as Residents’ Rights Month by Consumer Voice to honor residents living in all long-term care facilities. The theme for this year’s Residents’ Rights Month, “Speak Up: Know Your Rights and How to Use Them,” emphasizes the importance of residents being informed about their rights; being engaged partners in achieving quality care and quality of life; and feeling confident in speaking up about what is important to them.

Learn more about AAA’s services and programs by visiting www.weldaaa.org.

Residents' Rights Month Proclamation Attendees