Ombudsmen are state certified individuals who resolve the problems of residents of nursing homes and residential care facilities for the elderly.
They provide an avenue for conflict resolution that may be otherwise unavailable to elderly residents who are victims of neglect and abuse.
Ombudsmen representatives strive to ensure dignity, choice and quality of life for all individuals in long term care.
Ombudsmen are a vital component of long term care services. They provide a voice for vulnerable seniors who may feel overwhelmed, fearful or ashamed to communicate problems of abuse and neglect, be it physical, sexual, emotional, verbal or financial.
- Advocate for resident’s rights
- Investigate complaints on behalf of residents in long term care facilities
- Act to protect vulnerable residents from abuse and neglect
- Safeguard clients rights to privacy by protecting confidential information
- Provide long term care placement information and assistance
- Educate the community about residents’ rights
- Present to community groups and organizations the role of Ombudsmen in senior advocacy and long term care issues
The Ombudsman was a life saver and came to my aid at a time when I was desperate and had given up hope.
California Department of Public Health licenses nursing homes and provides links to both Nursing Home Patient Rights and a list of Nursing Home Citations and Deficiencies: violations that have been “determined to have been a direct proximate cause of death of a patient or resident of a long term care facility.”
Community Care Licensing, California Department of Social Services licenses Residential Care Homes for the Elderly (RCFE) and Assisted Living Communities.
The California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform educates and supports long term care consumers. The site includes a useful tool for locating nursing homes and checking on their violations.
The National Center on Elder Abuse is a resource for policy makers, social service practitioners, advocates, and families.