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View this email in your browser WHAT IS THE LONG TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM (LTCOP)? The Ombudsman program advocates for resident of nursing homes, board and care, assisted living and other similar adult care facilities. State Ombudsmen and their designated representatives work to resolve problems individual residents may encounter and effect change at the local, state, and national levels with the objective of improving the quality of care for the elderly population. The ombudsman service offers a way for older adults to voice their complaints and have concerns addressed so they can live with dignity and respect. Ombudsman provides information about how to find a facility and what to do to get quality care. They are trained to resolve problems and assist the resident with complaints. However, unless the resident gives the Ombudsman permission to share his/her concerns, these matters are kept confidential. Federal Older Americans Act (OAA) Under the federal Older Americans Act (OAA) every state is required to have an Ombudsman Program that addresses complaints and advocates for improvements in the long term care system. Each state has an Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman, headed by a full time State Long Term Care Ombudsman who directs the program statewide. Staff and thousands of volunteers are designated by the State Ombudsmen as representatives to directly serve the individual resident’s needs. What is the role of the ombudsman in a healthcare setting? The healthcare ombudsman is employed by the state department of insurance, and works with consumers to resolve conflicts, determine long-term care needs, and provide guidance in bringing insurance carriers and the people who need them together. A nursing home ombudsman advocates for the residents of long-term care facilities. Nursing home ombudsmen protects vulnerable residents and help defend their most basic rights. They handle complaints related to physical and verbal abuse, neglect, and other forms of improper care. NOTE: A Long-Term Care Ombudsman can address most any issue that arises in a long-term care or assisted living facility. Commonly, Ombudsmen will investigate any violations of residents' rights and dignity, and any physical or mental abuse, whether intentional or not. What Concerns Does an Ombudsman Address? Below are a few of the most commonly sought after complaint resolutions that the Ombudsman may need to address: Slow responses to resident calls Poor facility food quality Staffing issues (mistreatment, shortages, inadequate skills, etc.,) A lack of social opportunities & interactions Disruptions in sleep Violation of residents' rights or dignity Physical, verbal, or mental abuse, deprivation of services necessary to maintain residents' physical and mental health, or unreasonable confinement Poor quality of care, including inadequate personal hygiene and slow response to requests for assistance Improper transfer or discharge of patient Inappropriate use of chemical or physical restraints In addition to identifying, investigating, and resolving complaints, Ombudsman programs responsibilities will include: Educating residents, their family and facility staff about residents’ rights, good care practices, and similar long term services and supports resources; Ensuring residents have regular and timely access to ombudsman services; Providing technical support for the development of resident and family councils; Advocating for changes to improve residents’ quality of life and care; Providing information to the public regarding long term care facilities and services, residents’ rights, and legislative and policy issues; Representing resident interests before governmental agencies; and Seeking legal, administrative and other remedies to protect residents. Ombudsman programs do not: Conduct licensing and regulatory inspections or investigations; Perform Adult Protective Services (APS) investigations; or Provide direct care for residents. Residents’ Rights Ombudsman programs help residents, family members, and others understand residents rights and support residents in exercising their rights guaranteed by law> most nursing homes participate in Medicare and Medicaid, and therefore must meet federal requirements, including facility responsibilities and residents rights. Have a topic request or question for Celeste? Send them over to firstname.lastname@example.org Activity Directors Network was founded in 1996 on the idea that we could help create elderly care that dramatically improved the lives of those we all serve. We envision facilities that feel like homes and that celebrate our resident’s individuality and allows them to live with dignity, purpose and joy. 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