What is a Long-Term Care Ombudsman?
Under the federal Older Americans Act, every state is required to have a Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) to promote and protect the rights of residents living in licensed long-term care facilities.
A Long-Term Care Ombudsman is an advocate for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes and assisted living facilities.
A Long-Term Care Ombudsman addresses issues and advocates for changes to improve the quality of life and quality of care of the individuals who are living in long-term care facilities.
What else does a Long-Term Care Ombudsman do?
Provides information about how to find a facility and what to do to get quality care.
Provides information to residents about long-term care services and residents’ rights.
Provides technical support for the development of Resident and Family Councils.
A Long-Term Care Ombudsman also identifies, investigates, and resolves complaints made by or on behalf of residents.
It is important to understand what a Long-Term Care Ombudsman does NOT do:
An Ombudsman does NOT provide direct care for residents.
Does NOT conduct licensing and regulatory inspections or investigations.
And is NOT an Adult Protective Services investigator.
As an advocate for residents, a Long-Term Care Ombudsman needs to obtain the resident’s consent prior to taking any action on a complaint or sharing resident information.
They seek to resolve complaints to the resident’s satisfaction, and they strive to empower residents and promote their ability to advocate for themselves.
A Long-Term Care Ombudsman always represents the interests of residents, both individually and systemically.
Licensed long-term care facilities are required to post contact information for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.
If you are a resident or family/friend care partner, introduce yourself to the Ombudsman serving your community.
Please share this information with people you know.