The Ombudsman Program is designed to provide an advocacy force to protect and enhance the health, safety, welfare, and rights of older individuals that are receiving long term care. This is accomplished by investigating and seeking a resolution over complaints that are made by and/or on behalf of older individuals. The Ombudsman will also advocate to bring up major issues that are needed to change the laws, regulations, policies, and practices which will assist large numbers of older citizens. These changes will help secure the benefits and rights to which older citizens are entitled. An Ombudsman is anyone who has completed training approved by the Office of State Long Term Care Ombudsman.
Some of the detailed activities of an Ombudsman include but are not limited to:
- Investigation of complaints made by and/or on behalf of older individuals receiving long term care services.
- Routine visits to long term care facilities for the purpose of enhancing program visibility.
- Informational activities and in-services to educate residents, providers, and the public about the Ombudsman program, the resident’s rights and other relevant issues.
- Assist in the development of resident and family councils.
- Participate in surveys and exit conferences of long term care facilities.
- Monitor facilities that have had licensers actions brought against them.
- Participate in ongoing professional development and training activities.
- Keep records of complaint data and other relevant Ombudsman information.
- Inform the Office of State Long Term Care Ombudsman and other government agencies on systems and facility-wide issues that impact residents in long-term care facilities.
- Keep abreast of the laws, regulations, and policies that impact program implementation in long term care facilities.
- Carry out Ombudsman activities consistent with federal and state law, including, but not limited to: the Older Americans Act and the Title VII Elder Rights requirements; OBRA and the Nursing Home Reform Act; the Aging Program Directive for Ombudsman Program and other requirements the Secretary of Aging and the State Long Term Care Ombudsman may deem appropriate.
Contact: Mindy Sivanich
Phone: (814) 849-3096