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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2000

Governor Proclaims Residents' Rights Week and Long Term Care Ombudsman Day

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today proclaimed the week of October 1-October 7, as Residents' Rights Week in Illinois, calling attention to the more than 100,000 Illinois citizens who reside in long term care facilities.

The Governor also proclaimed October 4 as Long Term Care Ombudsman Day to raise awareness about the role ombudsmen play in protecting the rights of long term care residents.

"The thousands of Illinoisans who live in nursing homes are entitled to quality care and clean, safe facilities," Governor Ryan said. "I encourage all those who have loved ones living in nursing homes to learn more about their rights and to celebrate the first week of October by visiting a family member or friend, or to consider becoming a volunteer ombudsman."

The Illinois Department on Aging administers the Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman program. Local ombudsmen work with families and facility staff to resolve resident issues, complaints or problems. The program trains volunteers to handle complaints and to report cases of neglect, abuse or any infringement of a resident's rights to the Department of Public Health.

"Residents' Rights Week and also Long Term Care Ombudsman Day present an opportunity to learn more about nursing homes and the quality of care that is expected in them," said Illinois Department on Aging Director Margo E. Schreiber.

For more information call the Department of Aging Senior Help Line at 800-252-8966.


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