This week, Oct. 4-10, is Residents' Rights Week in Kentucky nursing homes, a week when we are reminded to pay particular attention to the rights of those who live in them.
Americans enshrine basic guarantees in our national Bill of Rights. We understand we have the right to speak freely, to assemble in groups, to practice our religion. But we may not be as familiar with, nor as respectful of, the rights of those who live in long-term care settings. The focus of Residents' Rights Week is to ensure that we take those rights just as seriously as we take our freedom of speech. Some of these rights include:
The right to participate in planning one's treatment, care and discharge;
The right to refuse medication or treatments;
The right to see one's medical record;
The right to decide what to wear and how to spend one's time;
The right to participate in community activities, both inside and outside the nursing home;