We’ve all seen them – news stories about violence or aggressive behavior in long-term care facilities. Residents “acting out” aggressively against other residents or staff; staff members frustrated by resident behavior they find challenging or disruptive respond aggressively to residents.
Why should you care? Statistics show that more than 70% of individuals over age 65 living in the U.S. will need long-term services and supports at some point in their lives. An increasing number struggle with dementia, about 50% of nursing home residents, and a growing number of assisted living and community care recipients. This could affect someone you know or yourself one day.
How do we ensure quality care for a rapidly aging population, promote individual rights, and at the same time, protect residents from abuse or neglect when they are most vulnerable?
Go to www.ltcombudsman.org for available resources and contact information. We’d like to hear how you are ensuring quality care in your state!
-Lori O. Smetanka, JD
About the Author: Lori Smetanka became the Director of the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center in June 2004. In her role, she provides support, technical assistance and training for 53 state and more than 600 local long-term care ombudsmen programs. Prior to her current position, Lori was a policy analyst for the Consumer Voice, focusing on survey and enforcement, and providing technical assistance to long-term care ombudsman programs.