Pasco and North Pinellas District ombudsmen volunteers and staff welcomed 25 residents from 12 different long-term care facilities on October 25th, during this year's Residents' Rights Month. The theme of the meeting was “Welcome Home: Creating Connections Between Residents and the Community.” The group shared their favorite community events growing up, current participation in their community and new ideas for increasing community interaction.
Top suggestions from long-term care facility residents were:
· Attending/participating in parades.
· Dog shows where the residents are the judges.
· Ask local legislators to speak and listen to residents.
· Collect food/clothes for needy families.
· Share life experiences with others such as scout troops/local school children.
· Spelling bee with local school children.
· Open house to invite family, friends and the community.
· Connect with local schools to invite them to facility activities and events and have the school invite residents to their events such as plays, concerts and sports games.
· Adopt needy families and/or fund raise to sponsor a thanksgiving meal or have a holiday gift drive.
· Adopt a soldier for the year/holidays and collect holiday/thank you cards for them.
The resident council also elected officers to lead their activities: Vice President: Richard Whitney, Secretary: Diana Payne, and President: Ricky Melendez.
Here are some pictures of residents, ombudsmen volunteers and caregivers from the meeting: