Resident and Family Engagement: What is it? What are the benefits?

AHRQ Safety Program for Long-Term Care: HAIs/CAUTI

What can I do as a resident or family member to partner with staff?

  • Share your concerns, needs, and observations.
  • Take an active role in your individual care or in the care of your family member.
  • Talk to and listen to staff to learn ways you can improve care andsafety in your facility.
  • Speak up if you have concerns that staff may not be following safe practices or if you observe a safety issue.
  • Actively participate on residentand family councils and facility committees and teams.
  • Provide input on new programs, policies, or services; share your ideas.
  • Support programs designed to reduce infections in your facility.
  • Support staff and physician education in how to work with residents and family members as partners.
  • Learn how you can prevent infections

Where can I find more information?

  1. Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes: Person-Centered Care.
  2. National Long-Term Care Ombudsmen Resource Center.
  3. Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care. Tips for Group Leaders and Facilitators on Involving Patients and Families on Committees and Task forces. 2010.
  4. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Working With Patients and Families as Advisors. 2013.

What is resident and family engagement?

  • Residents and their families are treated as individuals and as members of the health care team.
  • Staff actively listen to residents and families about what they want and need.
  • Residents, families, and staff work together as partners.
  • Staff ask residents for their ideas and act on them whenever possible.

What are the benefits of resident and family engagement?

  • Better care.
  • Better quality of life (e.g., more say in how you live your life).
  • Greater resident, family, and staff satisfaction.
  • More attention to individual preferences and needs (e.g., what activities are offered, the time when you must wake up).
  • Improved relationships and trust among staff, residents and families.

What can my long-term care facility do to partner with me?

  • Ask residents and their families what they want in their care and daily life
  • Get to know the needs and preferences of residents and their family members
  • Actively encourage residents and their families to take part in planning the residents' care
  • Ask residents and their families what they think about their care and daily life
  • Involve residents and their families in decision making
  • Encourage everyone on the team to talk and listen to one another
  • Share information on infection prevention efforts
Page last reviewed March 2017
Page originally created March 2017
Internet Citation: Resident and Family Engagement: What is it? What are the benefits?. Content last reviewed March 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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