October is Residents Rights Month:
Across the country, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities along with family members, ombudsmen, citizen advocates, facility staff and others will honor the individual rights of long-term care residents by celebrating Residents’ Rights Month. Residents’ Rights Month is an annual event held in October by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) to celebrate and focus on awareness of dignity, respect and the value of long-term care residents.
The theme for Residents’ Rights Month 2018 is, – “Speak Up: Know Your Rights and How to Use Them”– to emphasize the importance of residents being informed about their rights and being engaged partners in achieving quality care and quality of life. The Nursing Home Reform Law, passed in 1987, guarantees nursing home residents their individual rights, including but not limited to: individualized care, respect, dignity,the right to visitation, the right to privacy, the right to complain, and the right to make independent choices. Residents who have made their home in other types of facilities; assisted living, adult care homes, family type homes; maintain their rights as U.S. Citizens. Residents’ Rights Month raises awareness about these rights and pays tribute to the unique contributions of long-term residents. The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has worked for more than 40 years to promote residents’ rights daily. More than 8,000 volunteers and 1,000 paid staff are advocates for residents in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Authorized under the Older Americans Act and administered by the Administration on Aging, the program also provides information on how to find a facility, conducts community education sessions, and supports residents, their families and the public with one-on-one consultation regarding long-term care. Action for Older Persons holds the NYS Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program covering Region 11: Broome, Chenango, Delaware, and Tioga Counties.
Program Coordinator, Morgan White, urges people to, “Check out Action for Older Persons’ Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ActionforOlderPersons/ throughout the Month of October to find more facts about Resident Rights for all Long-Term Care Facilities”. She reminds everyone to contact their office for additional information about the Ombudsman Program and other Long-Term Care related questions at (607) 722-1251.
Medicare Open Enrollment
It’s that time of year again for Medicare Open Enrollment. This is an excellent time of year to review your options and see if you are receiving the optimal savings and benefits for you! Set up an appointment with us to receive an unbiased counselling session to determine your best options. Members of AOP can call early to schedule their appointment beginning the third week of September (Sept 17-21) and Non-Members can schedule their appointments beginning Sept. 24. During the first weeks that we accept phone calls to set up appointments we tend to book out into mid-November, so make sure to call as soon as possible!
****VERY IMPORTANT REMINDER: When we set up your appointment we’ll also provide you a reminder to send a list of your prescriptions immediately following the call, so do not delay! Without your list of prescriptions we cannot find the best prescription plan for you. Providing your list of prescriptions prior to your appoint gives our staff and volunteers the ability to get your information entered into our database so that the time spent at your appointment is not wasted on data entry, but spent more on you and your Medicare needs. Due to the high volume of traffic during this period, if we are unable to receive your list of prescriptions prior to your appointment, your appointment may be subject to cancellation.****
Volunteers are needed in Chenango, Delaware, and Tioga Counties!
More information on Long-Term Care Ombudsmen in the article below. Certification training dates to be held in October. Applications due Early September. Contact us at 607-722-1251 for additional information.
Educating, Empowering, Advocating
by the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
THE NYS LONG TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM:
What are those things that make us who we are as individuals? It is our ability to make choices, to exercise our rights, and remain as independent as possible while maintaining our dignity. Many of us envision living our lives in this manner, surrounded by family and friends in our own homes and community. The reality, however, can be very different. Unforeseen circumstances such as a fall or illness can change a person’s life plan, creating the need to be placed in a nursing home or adult home. Residents in these facilities deserve to continue to live their lives as independently as possible and often are able to accomplish this by utilizing their advocate, a certified ombudsman.
The New York State Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is available in all long-term care facilities across the state to assist individuals in keeping their sense of identity, self-worth, and ability to make choices regarding the care they are receiving. Simply put, the ombudsman program is resident-directed and resident-centered. Ombudsmen provide assistance to individuals and their families to understand and exercise their right to good care in a safe environment that promotes and protects their dignity and quality of life in the facility they now call “home.”
At the heart of the NYS Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is its corps of specially trained and certified volunteers. Many volunteers are retired professionals from various backgrounds. These dedicated ombudsmen spend several hours per week in each of their assigned facilities, advocating for the residents by providing information and resolving complaints.
Little things make a big difference in everyone’s lives. The certified ombudsman volunteers are a “regular presence” in facilities. Because of this “regular presence,” these volunteers get to know residents, their needs, and those things that make a difference in their everyday lives. For residents without any family or loved ones, the ombudsman may be their only socialization from outside the facility and also may be the only advocate they have. The ombudsman becomes a “voice for the voiceless” and a lifeline for those who need assistance when they feel like they have nobody to turn to.
The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is dedicated to educating, empowering and advocating for the residents in long-term care settings. Sometimes the role of the certified ombudsman is simply to empower residents and their families with education and knowledge so that that they can advocate on their own behalf. An ombudsman can also advocate for residents by investigating and resolving complaints made by or on behalf of them, always with the residents’ consent. Ombudsmen are committed to maintaining resident confidentiality, which is a cornerstone of the program. They represent residents and work on their behalf with facility administrators, staff, and family members to achieve a satisfactory resolution of their complaint and improve their quality of life.
At still another level, certified ombudsman engage in systems advocacy by promoting the development of resident and family councils within facilities and by informing government agencies, providers, and the general public about issues and concerns impacting residents of long-term care facilities.
Throughout the state there are approximately 800 volunteers who provide residents with support and advocacy. The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is always in need of more dedicated volunteers to provide this needed and beneficial service to the residents of long-term care facilities. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for Broome, Chenango, Delaware, or Tioga County or are in need of the assistance of a certified ombudsman, please call 607-722-1251.
Health Insurance Information, Counseling, and Assistance Program
2016 Annual Report
Action for Older Persons’ Health Insurance Information, Counseling, and Assistance Program had is biggest year ever in 2016. We would like to thank our funders – Broome County Office for Aging, United Way of Broome County, Town of Union, City of Binghamton, and AOP members and donors. We would not be able to provide this valuable service without your support.
To learn more about 2016 program accomplishment, click here: AOP HIICAP Report 2016
Help us plan our next successful fundraiser!
We’re planning our fundraising for 2016. We would love your input. Following the link to a QUICK survey. Thank You!!
AOP Relocation to 200 Plaza Drive in Vestal
In late July of 2015 AOP left it’s long time home of the Colonial Plaza (we had been in the building since December 1991)! We got rid of a little unused office space while relocating to a more central location in the County, easier for our clients in Endwell, Endicott and Vestal, while also remaining at a location with easy access for our other clients by remaining right on the line of Binghamton and Vestal. Our new address is 200 Plaza Drive Suite B Vestal, NY 13850. We are happy to announce that it has a bus stop just steps from the building. AOP has gone through many changes through the years and our new move is one of them. We are excited for everyone to visit our new office space. Hope to see you all soon.