Why are Family Councils Important?

Let's make up a silly example. A family council decides that the brown colored walls are depressing, and cause the resident's health to decline. They propose to paint the walls yellow, and will donate time to help the facility. The nursing home agrees, and the walls are painted. The bright yellow cheers up the residents so much they start skipping through the halls, and signing up for extra activities.

Ok, this is silly, but who did this family council action affect? Just my mother? Just the relatives of the people in the family council? No. It affected every resident of the facility.

When someone moves into a nursing home, they need their family more than ever before. Almost half of residents have no one to visit them. Some residents are physically or mentally unable to understand their rights to quality care and a dignity of life. Many are unable to advocate for themselves.

A family council reviews and works on common concerns. By doing so, they improve the life for their family members, those with no family members, and those who are not physically or mentally able to speak for themselves.

A family council is:

  • The best prevention against abuse and neglect, 
  • The best vehicle to tell a facility the need for culture change, 
  • The best way to assist the activity director to increase community participation, 
  • The best way to provide ongoing appreciation for staff, and 
  • The best way to address systemic issues regarding changes in laws, regulations and policies that affect residents in facilities across the state and nation. 

Many family council members have stated "I want to improve this nursing home, so that when I live here, it will be to my standard."