Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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September 29, 2008

Long-term care residents honored during
Residents' Rights Week

PIERRE, S.D. More than 2.5 million Americans living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities will be honored during National Residents’ Rights Week on October 5-11, 2008. Designated by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, the week highlights the importance of residents’ participation in discussions about improving the quality of care in their long-term facilities.

This year’s theme, “Recipe for Home: Defining and Creating Home in Long-Term Care Facilities,” emphasizes the importance of empowering residents to define what home means to them. This enhances the quality of life for residents, as well as the work environment for staff, resulting in less turnover and improved care.

The Long-Term Care Facilities Residents’ Bill of Rights guarantees nursing home residents their individual rights, including the right to privacy, the right to manage financial affairs, and the right to make independent choices. Residents’ Rights Week raises awareness about these rights and pays tribute to the unique contributions of long-term care residents.

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is mandated by the U.S. Administration on Aging to advocate for and protect the rights of residents of nursing and assisted living facilities. Adult Services and Aging Specialists serve as advocates for facility residents and investigate and work toward the resolution of their complaints. Additionally, the program provides information and referral assistance, conducts educational activities to increase community awareness of elder rights, and provides training to long-term care staff.

For more information on the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, the Long-Term Care Facilities Residents’ Bill of Rights or to contact the LTC Ombudsman, visit Ombudsman