Residents' Rights Month is celebrated in October to honor those living in long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, assisted living, board and care, and retirement communities. It provides an opportunity for family members, ombudsmen, citizen advocates, facility staff, and others to focus awareness on the dignity, respect, and value of each individual resident. It also serves as a reminder to those living in a long-term care facility to learn about and exercise their rights.
People who live in nursing homes are protected by the 1987 federal Nursing Home Reform Law. The law requires nursing homes to care for its residents in a manner that promotes and enhances the quality of life of each resident while also ensuring dignity, choice, and self-determination. Some states include residents' rights in state law or regulation for licensed assisted living, and other board and care facilities. Regardless of the type of facility, all people who have made their homes in long-term care facilities maintain their rights as U.S. Citizens.
During Residents' Rights Month, we also recognize the states’ long-term care ombudsman programs staff and volunteers across the country. These individuals work daily to promote residents’ rights, assist residents with complaints, and provide information to those who need to find a long-term care facility.
Visit Consumer Voice (PDF) to learn more about history of Residents' Rights Month.