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Resident Rights Week Kick-Off: Dining In the Nursing Home

The first full week of October is set aside annually to remember all of those living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities across the country. The designated comes from the Consumer Voice-the nation’s premier advocacy group for nursing home residents. The goal of the week is to honor all those seniors and other residents, raising awareness of the need to ensure that their dignity is respected. Our Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti honor this time of the year, as our work every day is geared toward preserving the rights of those vulnerable seniors who have fallen victim to nursing home abuse and neglect.

It is important for everyone to take a moment to consider the quality of life of those friends and family members who currently reside in these facilities. For example, one often overlooked aspect of elder care involves dining and nutrition. Those of us who do not live in one of these facilities often take for granted the freedom we have in crafting our own meal plan according to health and taste. Many residents in nursing homes do not have the luxury.

In many cases, neglected residents have no choice about what they eat, when they eat, how much they eat, or where they eat. This inflexibility can actually have devastating effects on the residents’ health and well-being. Many seniors are forced to eat when they are not hungry, or forced to skip meals; this often leads to malnutrition in nursing homes. Of course ill-prepared food also incentivizes skipped meals which can have serious consequences for elder residents who need proper nutrition to improve health and strengthen their bodies.

Mealtimes should be natural socializing moments. Residents should also be free to eat together in common dining rooms and in a friendly atmosphere. There is no reason why living in a nursing home should necessitate sacrifices in the quality of nutrition and community building.

Please take time this week to consider the quality of the environment at nursing homes nearby.

Click Here to learn more about Residents Rights Week 2010.