Empowering Elders through Resident Councils
There are no better advocates for the wellbeing of our residents than the residents themselves. That’s why nursing homes like A.G. Rhodes have Resident Councils as important mechanisms for listening to and empowering residents.
Resident Council meetings—which are open to all residents—are held regularly for residents to review a variety of topics that impact their quality of care and quality of life. The meetings are run by a president, who is a resident elected by his or her peers, and staff members from various departments attend to hear and address ideas and concerns.
A.G. Rhodes Cobb Resident Council President Owen Allen said he sees the meetings as an opportunity to build relationships.
“I listen to everyone’s concerns, help others and represent them to make them feel better and thus strengthen our community.”
Vanissa Johnson, Activities Director at A.G. Rhodes Atlanta, said the meetings are important for promoting effective communication between residents and staff.
“Residents and staff have the same goal: we want a fun and supportive living and working environment. The open and honest communication we have during these meetings helps us accomplish that.”
Mr. Allen agreed.
“The contribution they [residents] make when they speak for themselves, express their concerns, and how they feel directly to the staff is very important. Overall, we work together with staff members and it’s driven by respect, collaboration and direct feedback to maintain communication, problem solve and enhance programs to improve the quality of care.”
Vanissa said that food is a popular topic at the meetings.
“Our food services director will attend, and residents will discuss what they like or don’t like about the menu, and they will choose a meal of the month.”
Another important topic is the activities calendar.
“We want to have events and activities that residents will enjoy and take part in, so we welcome different ideas to encourage residents to engage with each other and in our community,” Vanissa said.
Resident Councils also help foster a sense of community and belonging.
“It allows everyone to get involved to share views, ideas, make suggestions and participate in decision-making,” Mr. Allen said.