Long-Term Care Residents Honored During Residents’ Rights Month, October 2023

Annapolis, MD (October 2, 2023) - Representatives from Anne Arundel County’s Department of Aging and Disabilities’ Ombudsman Program, citizen advocates, facility staff, and others will honor the individual rights of long-term care residents by celebrating Residents’ Rights Month in October. Residents’ Rights Month is an annual event created by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care to celebrate and focus on awareness of dignity, respect, and the value of long-term care residents. 

This year’s Residents’ Rights Month theme - Amplify Our Voices - emphasizes a community of long-term care residents coming together to make their voices heard. For residents, amplifying your voice means being outspoken about your preferences and choices, and sharing who you are and your experiences.

County Executive Steuart L. Pittman has proclaimed Residents’ Rights Month throughout the month of October. “To be heard and feel acknowledged is a basic human need. It cannot be overemphasized just how beneficial it is to a resident’s health and quality of life, to voice their concerns, preferences, and choices and to share who they are and their lived experiences,” said Karrisa Kelly, Director, Department of Aging and Disabilities, “Everyday our Ombudsmen connect with and advocate for the rights of residents in Long-Term Care. Protecting and encouraging residents to speak up and speak out is more important than ever.”

Certified Ombudsmen will be giving presentations, distributing Residents’ Rights books and materials to long-term care residents, conducting interviews with WNAV Radio, and educating the public through social media outlets.

The Nursing Home Reform Law, passed in 1987, guarantees nursing home and assisted living residents their individual rights, including but not limited to: individualized care, respect, dignity, the right to visitation, the right to privacy, the right to complain, and the right to make independent choices. Residents of long-term care facilities also maintain their rights as U.S. Citizens. Residents’ Rights Month raises awareness about these rights and pays tribute to the unique contributions of long-term residents. 

The Anne Arundel County Ombudsman Program promotes residents’ rights daily. Paid staff and volunteers make unannounced visits to 14 nursing homes and 130 assisted living homes throughout the county on a regular basis. Authorized under the Older Americans Act and administered by the Administration on Aging, the local Ombudsman 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.

For more information about the Anne Arundel County Ombudsman Program through the Department of Aging and Disabilities, please call 410-222-4257. TTY users should call via Maryland Relay 7-1-1.