Resident and Family Support Council

 Resident and Family Support Council

​The Resident and Family Support Council is a virtual forum to bring people together across the State.  The goal of this Council is to educate and connect people about issues relating to residents and families in the long-term care system. These meetings will occur the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 3:00 with the topics determined through attendee input. There will be time for question and answer and resource sharing at each meeting. If you are interested in receiving invitations for future meetings, please email and you will be added to our email group.  
You can also view upcoming meetings on the Department calendar.


You do not have to register.  Just click on the link the day of the meeting at 3:00 to take you directly to the Zoom.
If you would like to view past presentations, visit and subscribe to our YouTube page

January 11th

Topic:  Understanding Your Rights:  The Right to Privacy and Confidentiality. 

Description:  We will be looking closing at the right to privacy and confidentiality to really understand how this right looks once you enter a long-term care facility.  Do people REALLY knock on your door before entering?  Do you feel that your room is your private space? Do you know what is in your medical record?  All this will be addressed and more.  This will be a open dialogue with question and answers throughout the conversation.  

Previous Meetings

December 21

Topic:  The Gift of Resources to Empower

Description: There are so many resources to assist us in navigating this complicated world of long-term care.  During today's discussion we will share some valuable resources and hear from a senior grassroots advocacy group, the Jane Adams Senior Caucus, on some things that they are doing to promote greater empowerment for seniors in the Chicagoland area.  

View Resources HERE.

December 7th

Topic: We Want to Hear From You!

Description: During this meeting we will discuss how everything went with visitation for Thanksgiving to help prepare us for the December holidays.  We will briefly review our last meeting and what you should expect to be seeing in regards to visitation based upon the Federal rules and share any updates from the State regarding their guidance for all long-term care facilities.  We will be opening the microphone for comment throughout the meeting.  

November 23rd

Topic: Home For the Holidays- enjoying each other's company no matter where you live.

Description: We will be sharing ideas to engage with those living in long-term care facilities during the holiday seasons.  Come and share some ideas that you may have as well! 

November 9th

Topic: The How's and Why's of Guardianship

Description: Barry Lowy from Equip for Equality will discuss the dynamics of the guardianship program including the process and why it is needed. 

View Presentation HERE.

October 26

Topic: Having your Person Centered Care Needs Met Through You Care Plan

Description:  As a follow-up to the previous meeting, the Ombudsman will share how to be empowered through your care plan to make sure that you person-centered needs are being addressed.  Find out what a care plan should look like, who should be a part of this and how to make sure that your voice is integrated into the process.  

View Presentation HERE.

October 12

Topic: What is Person Centered Care?

Description:  Quality of life is the most important element when living in long-term care communities.  Come and listen to what one CEO, Administrator and family have experienced in regards to person-centered care at their facility.  Hear about what they have done to make life better for those that live in this home and the impact it has made on those who live there. 

Presented by:  Michael Brave (CEO), Cheryl Smith( Administrator) & Carrie Leljadel (family member)

September 28

Topic: IDPH Update:  It's Fall What should we be seeing? 

Description: We have been through a lot in the last year and 8 months.  The rules have adapted to the current COVID situation and it is hard to keep it all straight.  During this meeting, you will be given the opportunity to hear from the State, what you should be seeing so that you can best advocate for yourself and your loved ones.  As always, there will be time for questions so you can make sure you feel fully empowered.  

Presented by Infection Prevention Team, IL Department of Public Health  

View Presentation HERE.

September 14

Topic: Understanding Guardianship in IL

Description: Guardianship can be a very confusing process.  Understanding what it is and how to navigate will be the focus of this conversation. 

Presented by Teresa Parks, Deputy Director and Human Rights Authority Director, Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission

View Presentation HERE.

August 31

Topic: Dementia Friendly Illinois

Description: Susan Frick, of the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center and the Cognitive Resource Alliance, will discuss reversing the narrative. Communities, big and small, can see the value in making their communities more dementia friendly. Dementia Friendly Illinois is about improving the journey of persons with dementia and their support systems. We will discuss what is going on across the state and what you can do in your area to support this initiative.  

View Presentation HERE.

August 17

Topic: Hospice and Palliative Care – What's the difference?

Description:  Hospice and Palliative care are two person centered approaches to care for people as they navigate with disease process.  We will discuss what each of these are and when care and services for these are beneficial to the person.  

August 3

Topic: Understanding Dementia

Description:   there are many different types of dementia and it is important to recognize the differences so that people are diagnosed properly.  We will give a brief overview of some of the most common types of dementia to help gain a greater understanding of these diseases and why it's important to get a proper diagnosis. 

July 20

Topic: Care Plans – What are they and what do I need to know 

Description:  Care Plans or Service Plans are integral to the care and services that you receive when you live in a long-term care facility.  These basically are the directions for your care and where you have the opportunity to personal what you need, want and deserve.  We will discuss the process and your role in assuring that your care plan meets what you need. 

July 6

Topic: Understanding Your Financial Rights

Description:  Just because you live in a Long-Term Care facility it doesn't mean that your rights to manage your money disappears.  During this conversation we will discuss what are your Financial Rights and we will discuss the Stimulus funds that people have received and your rights regarding these.


June 22 

Topic:  It's June… what should we be seeing

Description:  We are all excited that we are now at Phase 5 in IL and things are opening up! But unfortunately, it still looks different for long-term care facilities.  We have invited IL Department of Public Health to come back and talk with us so that we can hear from them what we should be seeing in long-term care facilities throughout the state.   We will also have the opportunity to ask questions and gain a better understand of what we can and can't do in regards to visitation and going out of the buildings. 


June 8, 2021

Understanding Your Long-Term Care Discharge and Financial Rights

People who live in long-term care facilities have rights.  At the next meeting, two of those rights will be highlighted.  The fear of being discharged for no apparent reason can be very real for some.  We will be addressing how long-term care facilities can only discharge you for very specific reason.  These reasons will be discussed as well as a review of what are your financial rights. These two topics are very timely now that we are trying to recuperate after COVID.    


May 25, 2021

Electronic Monitoring-Understanding Your Rights! Did you know that you can put a camera in your loved one's room?  That is a right that you and the resident have.  We will be discussing this, and a family member will share why and how she set it up for her loved one.  


May 11, 2021

We Want to Hear from You! During this meeting everyone had the opportunity to voice concerns, ask questions and share stories.  We were led through this conversation with a family member and a resident who shared their stories of how the pandemic personally affected them.  We also shared a lot of links to assist with the conversation which are provided in the link below. 



April 27, 2021

Everyone deserves the ability to be able to advocate for themselves.  But sometimes we can be fearful that someone might not want to hear what we are saying and then take it out on us.  No one who lives in a long-term care facility should ever be fearful of speaking up.  Kelly Richards, the State Long Term Care Ombudsman, Stephen Maxwell, Regional Ombudsman in the Peoria Area and Carrie Leljedal, family member and advocate discussed how to feel comfortable in making sure that you get what you need, want and deserve!  


April 13, 2021

There are many different types of long-term care communities in IL and it can be very confusing.  Jessica Belsly, Ombudsman Specialist, shared what are the various types of long-term care facilities and where to go to advocate for yourself or those you care about.


March 30, 2021

Dr. Catherine Counard and Debra Burdsall from Illinois Department of Public Health, joined the group to discuss the IDPH revised guidance for Nursing Homes which includes information on the guidance changes, which was released on March 19, 2021.  We had many questions and answers that really helped to understand what the IDPH is telling the facilities.


March 16, 2021

During this meeting we addressed Family's and Resident's concerns regarding visitation in Long Term Care Facilities.  Kelly Richards, the State Ombudsman, provided us with a summary of the regulations regarding visitation during this pandemic and then Jessica Belsly, the State Ombudsman consultant along with Kelly provided answers to specific questions from the group.