About the author
I have been a Geriatric Care Manager for over 24 years. I specialize in issues surrounding long-term care communities and the unique needs of residents with dementia. I have worked in long-term care communities as a Certified Nurse's Aide and Certified Medical Technician; I have had family members in long-term care and was the Director and Lead Advocate for the St. Louis Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program for over 17 years. With experience working, having loved ones in a long-term community, and having 24 years as an advocate for residents in long-term care, I believe I am uniquely qualified to help the residents, staff, and families come together to resolve situations that can arise in the long-term care communities.
I have a master's degree in Gerontology and had the pleasure of doing my practicum study with the St. Louis Alzheimer's Association, where I came into direct contact with families struggling with care for loved ones with dementia in their homes as well as those who had loved ones in long-term care communities. During my time with the Alzheimer's Association, I saw the need for individuals who specialized in advocating for individuals with dementia.
Over the years, I have seen many things, but one thing I know needs to happen is that family members need to have access to the regulations and understand resident rights before problems arise.
The greatest tool I can pass on to you, the family of a resident, is knowing that a family who knows and understands resident rights has a greater advantage when it comes to getting good care for their loved one. Often, I would talk with families who were told things that were not true. Once a family member knows and understands a resident's rights, they often do not need an advocate speaking for them; they can handle the situation independently.
This book will give you the Federal Regulations as they pertain to resident rights in a simple to understand format so any family member can become an advocate for their loved one. Any community that receives federal money (Medicare/Medicaid) must follow state and federal laws and regulations about resident rights. Assisted Living Communities and Residential Care Communities do not have to follow Federal Regulations and Laws because they do not receive Federal Funds. Each state has its own laws and regulations which govern long-term care, and which can be invaluable to know when your loved one is in an Assisted Living or Residential Community. In any case, understanding the federal laws will help you learn to become a powerful advocate for your loved one. I am the Resident is packed with 65 examples of advocacy that I have been involved with over the years. These are real-life examples of how advocacy works to improve residents' quality of life in long-term care communities.
The reason for writing this book is to empower all residents, families, students, and professionals. Knowledge is power. When you know and understand residents' rights, you can become a powerful advocate for your loved ones and improve their quality of life.