Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Resident Rights

I am simply baffled at some of the things I see. Last week I came across an incident that I would think automatically would be viewed as a violation of resident rights and yet the situation was not handled with that level of urgency. In no situation would it be acceptable to refuse a resident breakfast for being 5 minutes late of the appointed meal time. An assisted living center is home to vulnerable adults and no one should be allowed the power to decide if a resident will or will not be served a meal because they are 5 minutes late. Hopefully the ombudsman will be in that facility next week to help establish a resident council and do some teaching on resident rights. Facilities that have active resident councils are better informed of resident rights and are more likely to engage the services of an appointed ombudsman.

For anyone who is not aware of what an ombudsman does, they are volunteers that go into facilities to assist residents in exercising their rights. They often will lend a voice to the resident's concern, or assist a resident in obtaining a service they need, or negotiate when there is a dispute. The ombudsman program for Washington State provides training for ombudsman and we are so fortunate to have as many as we do.

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