The Ombudsman acts on behalf of all nursing home residents, their families or friends to resolve complaints concerning care issues against a nursing home. The Long Term Care Ombudsman investigates and works to resolve these complaints in the strictest of confidence on behalf of nursing home residents about their care, services, rights, or other concerns that affect their dignity and well being. The Ombudsman helps promote citizen and community involvement by providing information on the problems that exist in long-term care facilities. The Ombudsman trains and organizes local Ombudsman volunteers to act as resident representatives in each nursing home. The Ombudsman is also an advocate for residents’ rights and assists in organizing resident Councils and Family Councils in all nursing homes.
The Ombudsman Advisory Council is comprised of a representative from each of the seven County GRADD areas along with professionals that maintain a strong interest in improving the quality of life for the institutionalized elderly and for protecting their rights. The Council reviews and advises the Ombudsman on policies and procedures, provides ongoing support and leadership, assures contract Compliance and seeks funding resources for program viability.
The Ombudsman Program offers several volunteer opportunities.
- A Friendly Visitor visits with the nursing home residents each week and can provide much needed companionship.
- The Certified Ombudsman Volunteer is trained to investigate complaints and to work for a solution that is satisfactory for the resident.
- Some volunteers provide community education about issues that affect the nursing home resident or can become a member of the Ombudsman Advisory Council.
The Ombudsman Program provides elder abuse educational programs and in-services to residents, families, and long term care facilities, community groups and organizations. These programs provide information about how to recognize, prevent, report and stop the abuse of the elderly victim.
The Ombudsman Program raises public awareness of issues and legislation that affect long-term care residents. The Ombudsman also advocates with legislators on governmental policies and regulations that pertain to the rights and well-being of residents.
This information is made possible by state and/or federal funding provided by the Department for Aging and Independent Living.