What is a Nursing Home Ombudsman?

What is a Nursing Home Ombudsman

Thanks to modern science and healthcare, the life expectancy and quality of life for the average person have increased dramatically in the last few decades. Therefore, the necessity for assisted living facilities has never been more in-demand.

Older adults need to know that they can look forward to a secure future of quality care. The role of nursing home ombudsman programs is to provide nursing home residents with representatives they can rely on to curate quality assisted living to their individual needs.

Nursing home ombudsmen are the representatives of nursing home residents. They are advocates for residents who may be suffering due to poor care at nursing homes or assisted living facilities. They strive to help facilities and residents understand all of their residents’ rights.

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is essential for having respect between assisted living residents and nursing facilities. It is important that they have someone in their corner on an individual basis so that everyone is represented and every nursing home complaint is taken seriously.

If there is suspicion that you or a loved one are not receiving quality care from assisted living facilities or their facility staff, then it is imperative that a long-term care ombudsman provides your family members with representation. They are there to hold care providers accountable and handle complaints on the behalf of your family members.

Your family deserves the best treatment from San Antonio nursing homes, and to ensure that everyone is receiving equal care, it’s important to contact the experienced attorneys at Janicek Law. You can reach our San Antonio, Texas office at 210-366-4949 for a free consultation.

What is a Nursing Home Ombudsman?

A long-term care ombudsman addresses and resolves complaints from nursing home residents while also establishing individual relationships within the long-term care facilities. They primarily focus on resolving issues in order to protect residents, such as issues with health, safety, or welfare.

The Federal Older Americans Act (OAA) dictates that it is a federal law to employ the use of the ombudsman nursing home programs in long-term care facilities. The groups responsible for managing and ensuring the ombudsman programs work are the Administration for Community Living and the Administration on Aging.

They have a significant amount of volunteer opportunities and community involvement, with over 6,000 volunteer ombudsmen, and they serve over eight million people annually in long-term care facilities.

nursing home ombudsman

What Does a Nursing Home Ombudsman Do?

The fundamental responsibility of an LTC ombudsman is to serve and protect residents, whether they are older adults or seniors.

It is crucial that there are advocates for residents of long-term care facilities and nursing homes because the demographic that relies on these services is consistently increasing in size.

Nursing home residents all have their own unique difficulties, and some are more impaired than others. That is why it is very important to have someone advocating on their behalf, so that residents can receive the quality care they deserve within their nursing homes.

Nursing Home Ombudsman Services

A long-term care ombudsman program works to directly serve residents by solving or preventing any systemic issues within the nursing home or long-term care facility.

Their main focus is residential care, and some of the ways they enforce a commitment to a high quality of life for the residents include:

  • Striving to resolve problems related to residents
  • Making the residents aware of their facility’s human services and disability services
  • Collecting data for family councils and other agencies
  • Resolving complaints personally and listening to every resident concern
  • Ensuring a high quality of life and quality of care
  • Maintaining staff relations and helping them find solutions to complaints
  • Addressing accusations of elder abuse and neglect
  • Educating the community about citizen organizations
  • Working with local office and authorities to solve problems

How An Ombudsman Can Improve Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Facilities

In accordance with the national levels of the Older Americans Act, every long-term care ombudsman is elected to direct the program statewide. Every LTC ombudsman strives to address the needs of the residents on an individual basis. Ensuring the quality of care and quality of life for the residents is their top priority.

They strive to prevent the use of chemical or physical restraints within long-term care facilities. Food quality is another important consideration in increasing the overall quality of care for residents.

The benefit of having an LTC ombudsman advocating for the residents is that every complaint posited between them is confidential. This means that individual residents do not need to fear staff retaliation whenever they are seeking an improvement to their long-term care.

Resolve Resident Complaints

Complaints made by the residents or a family member are made in confidence, and every LTC ombudsman strives to protect the privacy and good faith of each of the residents that rely on them.

When residents file complaints about their living conditions or their health, the LTC ombudsman issues that directly to the national ombudsman reporting system. This is where the data is collected and archived, and it helps the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program curate each long-term care facility to the overall needs of its residents.

Report Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Every long-term care ombudsman is trained to report any signs or implications of elder abuse – including physical, emotional, verbal, financial, and sexual abuse – to local law offices and government agencies.

Accusations such as nursing home abuse are very serious and can lead to legal ramifications, which is why law enforcement is made aware of it.

It is crucial to hold every long-term care facility and nursing home responsible when these acts occur. The Long-term Care Ombudsman Program can help prevent other residents from being harmed in nursing homes.

Improve Elder Care

If a Long-Term Care Ombudsman program investigated the nursing homes that had a large number of complaints filed against them and found them to be guilty, the National Consumer Voice could step in to represent the victimized residents.

The National Consumer Voice is an organization that works with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program to give a voice to every resident that needs someone to advocate for them. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity, which is why these organizations work together to cut down on the slow response times of staff in nursing homes.

When You Should Contact a Nursing Home Ombudsman

It is a wonderful thing to have your family in your life for as long as possible, and – thanks to modern medicine and healthcare – that amount of time is only getting longer. However, with the influx of the older adult and elderly demographic in the last few decades, nursing homes have struggled to meet the demand.

For a lot of children of elderly parents, it can be overwhelming to manage their geriatric needs while also taking care of their own domestic lives and their work. That is why you and your loved ones need quality care from nursing homes or long-term care facilities.

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is there to advocate for your family and provide you with the peace of mind that your family member is being treated with respect.

What are Nursing Home Resident Rights?

The residents’ rights in long-term care facilities and nursing homes were outlined by the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law. In accordance with this law, residents’ rights include:

  • Access to equal care
  • Liberty to express themselves
  • Protection from being unlawfully discharged
  • Personal privacy
  • Visitation refusal
  • Protection from abuse

If you and your family believe that a loved one’s rights are not being properly defended by the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, then you may need to seek legal representation from a San Antonio nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer.

what is an ombudsman

Call San Antonio Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers at Janicek Law Today

No one wants to hear that their parents are being mistreated in their nursing home. In most cases, residents can rely on the nursing home ombudsman program to advocate for their betterment. However, in circumstances in which residents are not being properly defended, it can significantly harm their dignity, physical and mental.

Therefore, if your family suspects that a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect from their assisted living, then they may be entitled to compensation. To find out what they are owed, reach out to an experienced team of nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers in the San Antonio area.

Janicek Law is founded on defending those unable to defend themselves. If your family member sustained injuries in their nursing home, contact our office immediately. We can explore your legal options with a free consultation. Legal action can prevent negligent staff from harming other residents, and get your family what they are owed. Call us today at 210-366-4949 to speak to an experienced nursing home negligence attorney at Janicek Law.


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