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Long-Term Care Ombudsman What It Is How It Works

Long-Term Care Ombudsman What It Is How It Works

Long-Term Care Ombudsman: What It Is, How It Works

What Is a Long-Term Care Ombudsman?

A long-term care ombudsman is a government official who oversees nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They are experts in the laws and regulations that apply to these types of living arrangements. Ombudsmen regularly visit local facilities, investigate complaints, help consumers select nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and advocate for their residents. Federal law requires states to have this oversight and consumer advocacy program.

Key Takeaways

– A long-term care ombudsman oversees nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

– They visit facilities, investigate complaints, and advocate for residents.

– Ombudsmen also help families choose long-term care facilities.

Understanding a Long-Term Care Ombudsman

Long-term care ombudsmen have first-hand experience with facilities and are an excellent source of information for consumers choosing a nursing home or assisted living center. They can help narrow down facility options and create a shortlist of homes to visit. In the federal fiscal year 2017, over 1,300 full-time staff and 6,625 volunteers provided services to residents, as reported by the Administration for Community Living.

Ombudsmen educate residents and their families about their rights as long-term care consumers. They investigate and help resolve complaints, advocate for improvements in facility care and conditions, and assist in forming resident councils. By addressing undignified treatment, abuse, neglect, inadequate care, and inappropriate discharge, ombudsmen uphold the rights of long-term care facility residents. According to the Administration for Community Living, the most common complaints in nursing homes are improper eviction or inadequate discharge, unmet requests for assistance, lack of respect for residents and poor staff attitudes, administration and organization of medications, and conflicts with other residents.

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Consumer Rights

Residents of long-term care facilities do not lose their privacy rights, personal property rights, right to be informed about and provide consent for medical care, or any other rights. However, many residents are incapacitated, disabled, or have diminished mental or physical capacities, making them vulnerable to mistreatment. The ombudsman program is required to help curb these abuses.

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