What Is a Long-Term Care Ombudsman?

Have you ever heard of a long-term care ombudsman? If you have any loved ones living in care facilities, including nursing homes, it’s a good idea to learn more about what a long-term care ombudsman does and how they help to provide better care.

Under the federal Older American Act, long-term care ombudsman programs help to resolve issues linked to the health, safety, welfare, and rights of those living in long-term care facilities. This includes nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other residential care facilities. 

“Ombudsman programs promote policies and consumer protections to improve long-term services and support at the facility, local, state, and national levels,” according to the Administration for Community Living website. 

Here are a few more examples of what ombudsman programs do:

  • Educate residents and their family members about residents’ rights and resources
  • Ensure that residents have regular access to ombudsman services
  • Advocate for changes to improve residents’ care and quality of life
  • Provide information to the public about long-term care facilities and related legislative and policy issues

Ombudsman programs do not provide direct care to patients, and they do not conduct licensing or regulatory investigations.

There are 53 long-term care ombudsman programs in the U.S. In 2019, the ombudsman programs provided long-term care information to more than 425,000 people, according to the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. The program helped to resolve or partially resolve 71% of the complaints that it received in 2019. 

The three most common complaints they received for assisted or community living facilities include:

  • Improper eviction or inadequate discharge
  • Medication administration/organization
  • Quantity, quality, or choice of food

For nursing home facilities, the three most common complaints were:

  • Improper eviction or inadequate discharge
  • Unanswered requests for assistance
  • Lack of respect for residents

If you have a loved one living in a care facility, it’s helpful to know about the ombudsman programs so you can voice a concern and seek help if needed. Find out more about long-term care ombudsman programs at the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center website. To find a program near you, here is a link to a map, including information on the Florida ombudsman program.

Call Secure Aging to Find Out How We Can Help Seniors With Care Management

At Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our client’s independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our clients age, it is their desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-761-9338, or visit us online at www.secureaging.com.

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