Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
Long-term care includes a variety of services and supports an individual may require meeting their health and personal needs either for a short period of recovery following an illness or for an extended period, most often due to a chronic illness or disability, including memory loss. These services help an individual live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own. Long-term care includes both medical and non-medical care, including assistance with bathing, dressing, and taking medications. Long-term care can be provided at home, in the community, in assisted living or in nursing homes. It is important to remember that a person may need long-term care at any age.
There are a variety of options in our area for care, both in an individual's home or in a long-term care facility.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman
Ombudsman is a Swedish word meaning citizen advocate. An ombudsman is an advocate for residents’ rights. An ombudsman is responsible for investigating complaints made by, or on behalf of Nursing and Adult Care Home residents. Ombudsmen can work with residents, family members, concerned citizens, facilities, as well as public and private agencies. The goal of the Ombudsman Program is to enhance residents’ quality of care and quality of life.
An Ombudsman can:
- Advocate for you when your legal rights have been violated or you are not receiving proper care or assistance.
- Investigate concerns that you or your family may have about residents’ rights, services and benefits.
- Mediate disputes that you or your family may have with the facility.
- Provide information and assistance to you, your family members, and staff members in areas including: care planning, family and resident councils, resident transfer and discharge, long-term care placement.
- Promote elder-abuse awareness within the community.
- Monitor long-term care facilities to ensure that your rights are not being violated.
- Educate the public on long-term care issues and promote increased community involvement in long-term care facilities.
The regional ombudsmen help support the efforts of Adult Care Home and Nursing Home Community Advisory Committees (N.C.G.S. 131E-128 and 131D-3).
The NC General Assembly authorized three types of community advisory committees...
• Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee
• Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee
• Nursing and Adult Care Home Joint Community Advisory Committee
Each committee is mandated to...
- Work to maintain the intent of the Resident’s Bill of Rights and ensure quality care for the long term care residents.
- Promote community involvement and cooperation within long term care facilities.
- Conduct quarterly visits in adult care homes and nursing homes in the county and annually visit all family care homes in the county.
- Apprise itself of the general conditions under which the persons are residing in the homes and shall work for the best interests of the persons in the homes. This may include assisting persons who have grievances with the home and facilitating the resolution of grievances at the local level.
- Prepare reports as required by the Department of Health and Human Services containing an appraisal of the problems of facilities as well as issues affecting long term care in general.