Ombudsman Enhance the Lives of Long-Term Care Residents
Ombudsman is a Swedish word meaning “representative of the people.” An ombudsman advocates for individuals residing in nursing homes and assisted living facilities (formerly personnel care boarding homes. A trained and designated ombudsman is assigned to every long-term care facility in a specific region, providing a regular visiting presence enabling residents to have in-person contact. In order to resolve complaints and concerns of residents within long-term care settings and their families, an ombudsman investigates and attempts to resolve problems fairly. They address issues such as financial exploitation, improper use of chemical and/or physical constraints, improper transfer or resident eviction. Other issues include poor quality of care such as slow response to request for assistance, inadequate personal hygiene, violation of resident’s dignity and rights, and physical and/or metal abuse. Ombudsman educate older adults, their families and providers about resident rights and abuse prevention. They assist older adults and their families in choosing an appropriate long-term care facility.