May 06, 2020
The myths surrounding the rights of residents in long-term care (LTC) communities are pervasive. There’s an assumption that when someone becomes a resident of a LTC community, they are saying goodbye to most freedoms, especially choice. Fortunately for residents, these myths are untrue.
The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 was passed to address concerns of neglect and abuse in long-term care communities. This act established required services for residents and resident rights, which includes the right to choice: choice regarding healthcare, visitors, treatment, refusal of treatment, and more. In order to be eligible for Medicare or Medicaid funding, an LTC community must be licensed and is obligated to provide these services laid out in the Nursing Home Reform Act and to uphold resident rights.
So what do residents and families do when LTC communities fall short? Who do they turn to when their rights are being ignored? Who will listen? That’s where VOYCE and the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program comes in.
Recognizing that residents need someone to stand up for these rights, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program was created, establishing ombudsmen as advocates for residents in LTC communities. Ombudsmen work with residents to resolve issues, address complaints, and are a voice for them, acting only with explicit permission. They educate residents, resident families, LTC community representatives, staff, and the community. Ombudsmen empower residents, providing compassion and support.
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8050 Watson Road, Suite 155, St. Louis, MO 63119
Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 43-1480438