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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 2, 2001

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

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today proclaimed the week of October 7-13 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, 2001as Long Term Care Ombudsman Day to raise awareness about the role ombudsmen play in protecting the rights of long term care residents.

"All individuals who live in long term care facilities 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, continually check on their well-being, and consider volunteer opportunities to help other residents."

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 are important to recognize because they call attention to ways that people can enhance the lives of all those who live in long term care facilities," said Illinois Department on Aging Director Margo E. Schreiber. "Spending quality time with relatives and other residents reaffirms their dignity and reduces any sense of isolation they may be experiencing."

For more information call the Department on Aging's Senior HelpLine at 800-252-8966 (voice and TTY).


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