Long-Term Care Residents Honored During Residents’ Rights Month,
Stand for Quality
Each year, October is designated nationwide as Resident Rights Month, to honor the individual rights of long-term care residents. The federal Nursing Home Reform Law guarantees residents’ rights and places a strong emphasis on individual dignity, choice, and self-determination. The law also requires facilities to “promote and protect the rights of each resident”. Residents’ Rights Month is a time to raise awareness of these rights and celebrate residents.
This year's theme, "Stand for Quality," emphasizes the importance of quality in all aspects of residents’ lives – quality care, quality of life, quality services, and quality choices. In Pennsylvania, there has been a focus on increasing residents’ monthly personal needs allowance, or PNA. Residents receiving SSI or Medical Assistance are allowed to keep a small PNA each month ($45 for nursing home and $85 for personal care home residents) to use for expenses such as cable TV, haircuts, snacks , stamps and incontinent supplies. The amount has not increased in several years and any changes must be approved by the Pennsylvania legislature.
If you are a resident or have a loved one in a facility, and would like to participate in this advocacy effort, you are invited to complete a survey asking what you use the monthly PNA for and whether the amount is adequate to meet your needs. The survey is available on the Office of Aging website or by contacting us to request a copy (firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-299-7979 or 1-800-801-3070.