Main image courtesy of the Irish Times.
If you’re a part of the geriatric nursing or nursing home community, you work hard to ensure that your patients and residents are provided for. Ensuring that the needs of seniors are met in a satisfactory manner means that each day you’re striving to make them comfortable and keep them happy in their later years. This can sometimes be challenging when seniors are dealing with illnesses or other age-related conditions such as dementia. The only way to ensure that staff at these facilities are prepared to meet the needs of senior residents is through training in what the rights of residents are. This is why resident rights training is crucial to anyone who is working in a senior living community.
Mariposa Training offers two online courses specifically designed to train you in resident rights.
But what exactly are resident rights, and what kind of training is available? We’re glad that you asked because in this article, we’re going to discuss:
- What resident rights are
- The type of training available for resident rights
- Who can benefit from resident rights training
What Are Resident Rights?
Let’s learn a little bit more about what resident rights are
Resident rights are important for seniors who are living in assisted living communities to be aware of. It’s also crucial that staff are aware that residents do have rights, and that they must be respected. Image courtesy of Northgate Plaza.
When you choose to work in the senior care specialty, you understand that you have a responsibility to ensure your residents get the high level of attention that they deserve. No matter if you’re a part of a nursing home administration, a doctor, a nurse, or other type of senior health care worker, it’s your job to ensure the senior residents are provided for.
In 1987, the Nursing Home Reform Law outlined exactly what constitutes resident rights, so that no matter where a senior care community is located, it is responsible for allowing each resident the dignity, choice, and self-determination that they deserve. There are eight main resident rights that are outlined in the law.
Right to be fully informed
Residents living in senior communities have a right to be aware of all the services that the long term care facility offers. They are also allowed to have access to any reports or surveys that the nursing home has undergone, and the results of those inspections. Their independence is to be respected, and they should know in advance if there are any changes to their room or how they interact with other residents on a daily basis. The nursing home in which they live should also provide a written copy of the Resident Rights as well as the name and contact information of the state’s ombudsman in case there needs to be a complaint made.
Right to complain
In order to ensure senior residents are getting the high level of care they deserve, residents have the right to complain when something is lacking in their care. Whether the complaint is against another resident, a staff member, or the long term facility itself, the senior resident should not be afraid of reprisals or repercussions due to their complaint. The nursing home should take the complaint seriously and try to arrive at a solution to the problem quickly. Residents are also permitted to complain to the state ombudsman or other oversight agency in charge of nursing facilities.
Right to be involved in their care
As much as possible, seniors should be involved in the decisions relating to their own care. This includes seeing doctors they choose and being made aware of any changes to medication or their overall care management plan. Residents have the right to review the type of care they are being given, and are allowed to refuse treatments should they want to. Residents in nursing homes should be involved in their care assessment and ongoing treatment. This ensures that if something isn’t working for the resident, the care facility can work with them to find a better way to meet their needs.
Right to confidentiality
It’s important for long term care facilities to respect the privacy and confidentiality of their residents. Residents should be able to maintain communication with friends and family without fear of interference by nursing home staff. Seniors living in these communities should also have the right to privacy when dealing with personal, financial, or medical issues.
Rights for transfers/discharges
If a transfer or discharge from a facility is required, the resident has the right to advance notice of this change. If a transfer is required to ensure the wellbeing of the resident or the other residents, the nursing home will do so in a timely manner. The facility should plan for the appropriate measures needed to safely transport the resident to their new living arrangement.
Right to dignity
One of the most important things for a resident to have is the right to dignity while they are living at a senior care facility. Every person in the senior community should be treated with consideration and respect, and each person who is working with them should ensure the needs of the seniors are met. Each resident deserves the right to live in the community free from physical, mental, or emotional abuse, ensuring they are being given the highest level of care possible. Residents should not be restrained against their will, nor should their possessions be confiscated or taken. While a member of a long term care facility, seniors should be able to make their own decisions and determine what they think is best for themselves, with input from doctors and nursing home administrators.
Right to visits
Many senior living residents get great joy out of seeing their loved ones, and visits should always be allowed. They are also guaranteed the right to have visits from doctors or other health professionals, financial advisors, or lawyers should they want to. Residents at long term facilities also have the right to refuse visitors if they want to.
Right to make choices
As much as it is possible, residents have the right to make their own choices when it comes to their participation in activities and events, who they choose to socialize with, and their team of healthcare workers and physicians. They also get to determine how they spend their free time, and the nursing home community should do its best to make sure the needs and preferences of residents are respected. If they are able to, residents should also have the ability to manage their own financial affairs and determine what is best for themselves and their families.
These rights are guaranteed for residents of senior living communities. They have been laid out into law in order to protect the elderly, ensure they have a high quality of life, and that they are being cared for in an appropriate way.
Now that you’re aware of the rights of residents in senior living communities, it’s important to discuss how to ensure staff and other workers are properly trained to uphold these rights and allow seniors to enjoy a high quality of life.
What Kind of Training for Resident Rights is Available?
There is training available to ensure that residents’ rights are upheld
If you’d like to get staff and other workers trained on resident rights, you have options available. Image courtesy of Home Theater Seats.
In order to provide the best type of care for your senior residents, it is imperative that any staff at a long term care community are educated on resident rights. Without the type of information given during this kind of training, your staff may not be aware that they’re not respecting the residents’ rights. In fact, many residents themselves are not aware that they have rights while they are living in this type of community. One of the best ways to ensure that residents are aware of their rights is to provide them with a list of said rights that are protected by law. It is also important to provide the family members of the resident with a copy of the residents’ rights.
Many states have an ombudsman that is in charge of the oversight of senior living centers, so if you are looking for a place to get started with information that relates to residents’ rights, that’s a great place to start. You can also learn online through a class from Mariposa Training that is specifically designed for those people who work in assisted living centers, which will explain all anyone needs to know about maintaining resident rights. Mariposa Training offers:
- Resident Rights: A Guide for Practical Application
- Advocacy: Beyond Resident Rights
Ensuring that your staff is up to date with training is easy to do when you can learn at your own pace.
Everyone from the director of the nursing home center to volunteers who interact with residents should be aware of how to maintain and respect resident rights. Training is also a good way to show staff exactly what it looks like when resident rights are not respected, and how it can have an impact on the quality of life of seniors. Training in resident rights keeps everyone working in the long term facility on the same page, and allows them to provide the kind of high level care that their residents deserve.
Training for residents’ rights can ensure:
- Residents, staff, and families are aware of the rights of residents
- The long term facility is providing the best level of care for residents
- Keeps everyone in the nursing facility safe
- When residents feel respected, they have a higher quality of life
- Issues with care are pointed out and quickly resolved
Working in a senior care facility means that you’re on the front line of care. Training for resident rights ensures not only the residents are getting the respect and dignity that they deserve, but the facility is staying compliant and operating in a safe way. There are a variety of ways you can offer training, whether from online videos or in person seminars, it’s just important that both staff and residents are aware of how to respect their rights.
Ensure that the care of your residents are top priority, and use residents’ rights training to improve the ability of healthcare staff to meet the needs of senior residents.
Who Needs Resident Rights Training and Why?
Why is it important to offer residents’ rights training?
Training in residents’ rights is a great way to ensure all the members of a senior living community are treated with respect from caregivers. Image courtesy of 50 Alive.
As we mentioned earlier, training in residents’ rights is a great idea for almost anyone working at an assisted living facility. People who can benefit from this type of training include:
- Healthcare aids
- Senior living administrators
When it’s your responsibility to care for seniors in a long term care community, you’re going to want to ensure that your staff is ready with the tools they need to ensure the rights of residents are respected. Training on how to treat residents also means staff will learn how to not treat residents, empowering them to call something out if a resident’s rights are not being respected. Caring for seniors means you’re committed to giving them a life of dignity, and one where their input in their own care is respected. Training for residents’ rights can help healthcare and administrative staff ensure the nursing home community is doing all it can to improve the wellbeing of its residents.
Keeping staff up to date with residents’ rights training is a great idea, and it ensures they are able to offer residents the best kind of care. If you don’t have a training program in place, it’s important that you get one for anyone who is responsible for the care of seniors in a long term care facility. Whether you choose to use online training, or prefer to host an in-person seminar, by training your staff, you’re ensuring the rights of residents are respected and that they are getting the best care possible.
If you need training in resident rights, you can check out the online courses available from Mariposa Training.