Although they sometimes aren't aware of the extent of their rights, residents of nursing homes can leave if they wish, refuse medication and make choices about what foods they will and won't eat.
Such personal decisions, said managing local ombudsman for the Area Agency on Aging Cindy Oglesby, may seem basic. But for some living in residential care facilities these are rights they may not be aware they have.
Volunteers with the Area Agency on Agency, which is sponsored locally by the Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission and funded by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, work to ensure nursing home, assisted living and retirement home residents are aware of their rights. But, Oglesby said, some still don't know and they're taking this week -- being recognized nationally as Residents' Rights Week -- to provide a reminder.
"They have the right to be treated with respect and dignity," Oglesby said.
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Nursing Home Rights