What Does a Long Term Care Ombudsman Do?
Ombudsmen advocate for people who live in long term care facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living and board and care homes in order to address health, safety, and quality of life. They do this by:
- Listening to resident concerns and suggestions;
- Receiving, investigating and resolving complaints made by or on behalf of residents
- Promoting the development of resident and family councils
- Informing government agencies, providers and the general public about issues and concerns impacting residents of long term care facilities.
Ombudsmen respond to a variety of concerns about long term care including:
- Residents’ rights
- Environmental concerns
- Discharge and eviction
- Personal care concerns
- Quality of life issues
The Older Americans Act, administered by the Administration on Aging, requires each state to establish an Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman. In New York State, the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program functions through the State Office for the Aging. It provides services through a network of 15 regions and 730 volunteers statewide. Each region has a designated LTCOP Coordinator who recruits, trains, and supervises volunteers. Certified volunteer ombudsmen are assigned to a nursing home or assisted living home where they regularly visit to listen to and advocate for residents.