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The Senior Snippet PDF Print E-mail
Written by Erin LeBlanc   

A question that I often get challenged with as an Ombudsman deals with a resident’s right vs. safety. Many long-term care facilities are ingrained with keeping residents safe, as it should be. However, when residents make a decision regarding their care, and it may not be what others would choose, it remains their decision and they have the right, ability and focus to make that happen.

Not long ago, I was presented with a resident who was unsafe in walking. He used a walker and often fell into things. His wife wanted him to begin using a wheelchair and have staff push him to his destinations. She was fearful that he would fall and seriously injure himself and possibly others.

When speaking with this gentleman, he said he was not ready to give up and “sit down.” He wanted to continue to walk for as long as he could. He was presented with the risks and consequences of what a fall may do if he broke a bone, but he remained diligent in his focus of continuing to walk to activities, meals and get his exercise.

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Holyoke Enterprise February 13, 2014