By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
Jefferson City, MO – About 50 residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities gathered in Jefferson City today to kick off a statewide tour designed to recognize their rights and needs.
The tour will highlight rights possessed by long-term care residents, which include having a say in their treatment and filing complaints without fear of retaliation.
State Health and Senior Services Director Margaret Donnelly says these rights are already embedded into state law.
"Beginning in the 1970's, Missouri and then the federal government instituted legislation that gave residents certain rights...we want to be sure that that concept is reinforced, and one way to do that is to have these celebrations throughout the state," Donnelly said.
Donnelly also told the participants that their rights include such things as having a say in what they can do each day, who they share a room with, what time they get up in the morning, and when they can have visitors.
The week-long tour will also visit Springfield, Cape Girardeau, Chesterfield, Hannibal, Cameron and Raytown.