(10/01/19) New Orleans — Mayor LaToya Cantrell has proclaimed October 2019 as Greater New Orleans Residents’ Rights Month.
Residents’ Rights Month is an annual event held in October by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-term Care to celebrate and focus on awareness of dignity, respect and the value of long-term care residents.
The LSU AgCenter has given leadership to the New Orleans Region Ombudsman Project for the past 10 years. The New Orleans region includes the parishes of Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany.
The AgCenter staff in Jefferson Parish along with three ombudsmen provide research-based information relating to health and nutrition to many nursing home residents and aging members of the area.
“Our AgCenter staff and volunteers recognize the importance of serving this population, as many do not have family nearby to be their advocates,” said Beth Gambel, AgCenter agent in Jefferson Parish. “I like to say ‘the ombudsmen advocate, and we in the AgCenter educate.’ What a team we are to help more of our clientele have their needs met.”
The theme for Residents’ Rights Month 2019 is “Stand for Quality” to emphasize the importance of standing for quality in all aspects of residents’ experiences — quality care, quality of life, quality services and quality choices.
“Our long-term care ombudsmen work with residents as well as family members, facility staff and other advocates to promote quality care for our aging population,” said Rosa Walton, Louisiana state ombudsman.
The Louisiana Long-term Care Ombudsman Program is under the aegis of the Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs, which contracts with non-profit management organizations in the seven regions of the state.
Several nursing homes and assisted living facilities either have a community garden or are interested in planting a community garden. AgCenter agents and several Louisiana Master Gardeners are working on these projects.
The regional Greater New Orleans Ombudsman Program employs one full-time ombudsman and two part-time ombudsmen who are supported by seven volunteers to serve more than 8,000 residents in 87 nursing homes, group homes and assisted living facilities in the region.
Ombudsmen are available to meet with or speak by phone with anyone interested in long-term care options and opportunities in the community.
For further information, contact Tanya Hayes, regional coordinator, at 504-909-0672 or 504-736-6519.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture