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Young at heart PDF Print E-mail
Written by Erin LeBlanc   

Thank you to all those that attended the “Community Conversations” with Sandy Baker, the Director of Area Agency on Aging. Your input was greatly appreciated.

The first full week in October (Oct. 3-9) is Residents’ Rights Week. This is an opportunity to show tribute to residents and support ombudsmen, citizen advocates, facility staff and family members who work to promote and support residents’ rights. Setting aside a week to focus on rights is an effective way to make sure this important topic is never forgotten in your community, facility or state.

Residents’ Rights Week is designated by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) each year to highlight residents living in all long-term care settings. It is a time to reflect on the importance of the Nursing Home Reform Law of 1987 that promises quality of life, quality of care and rights for each resident.

During this week the Consumer Voice also gives special recognition to the work of thousands of individuals who collaborate daily to help assure that dignity, privacy and other basic human rights, often taken for granted in the community, are maintained as an integral part of the lives of residents living in long-term care settings.

Since 1981, the Consumer Voice has preserved this tradition of celebrating residents’ rights, although we have extended the designation to a full week so facility staff, family members, community advocates and ombudsmen will have flexible opportunities to conduct educational programs and festive events.

“This year’s theme, Defining Dining: It’s About Me, emphasizes the fundamental rights of all long-term residents to be treated with the appropriate care they deserve and need to maintain quality of life,” said Sarah F. Wells, Executive Director of the Consumer Voice.

“Residents will be treated with dignity and respect of their full individuality, staff and residents will enjoy relationships that enhance their day to day lives, and the long-term care facility will operate more effectively with its day-to-day activities being based on and developed with consumer involvement when facilities care about their residents.”

Many people care about residents, family members, citizen advocates, ombudsmen, facility staff and other visitors. This care can be truly individualized and focused on each person’s needs and preferences.

The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has worked tirelessly for over 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.

“Residents’ Rights Week is an excellent opportunity to re-affirm our collective commitment to residents’ rights and to honor long-term care residents. We strongly encourage the community to participate in Residents’ Rights Week activities and to visit residents who continue to be important to our communities and society,” Wells said.

NOTICE: Open Enrollment for Medicare Part D will soon be upon us (Nov. 15-Dec. 31). Sign-up events have been scheduled and are as follows for Haxtun: Nov. 17, Nov. 24, Dec. 8 and Dec. 15. These sign-ups will be held at The Daily Grind. Please call me to schedule your reservation time.

Dates have been scheduled and are as follows for Holyoke: Nov. 15, Nov. 18, Nov. 29, Dec. 2 and Dec. 9. These sign-ups will be held at Pizza p.a.d. Please call me to schedule your reservation time.

Keep an eye out for paperwork to arrive from your current provider and changes that will go into effect the first of the new year. Depending on those changes, you may or may not want to change providers. It is important that you look these papers over carefully, as this is where it is usually noted whether your deductible will change, costs of medication and changes in services. In most cases this will be the only time you are able to change during open enrollment.

If you attend Meet and Eat and/or home delivery in Haxtun, please update the reservation telephone number. You now need to call Diana Craven at 970-774-7853.

Erin LeBlanc, Senior Service Coordinator/Ombudsman for Phillips County 970-854-2949.