Question: 3 months ago my sisters and I reluctantly placed our mother (who is 81 years old) in a local nursing home. Now she is about 30 pounds thinner, doesn’t speak, smells terribly and has bed sores. We believe that this is the result of poor care provided by the nursing home. Is there anyone we can contact to “check out” this nursing home and to help us resolve these quality of care issues? Several of our friends have suggested that we contact the State Long Term Care Ombudsman’s office. We are not sure what the role of the Ombudsman’s office is. Can you please educate us on this elder care agency?
Answer: The Long Term Care Ombudsman program is administered by the Administration on Aging (AoA), and each state (plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam) has a Long Term Care Ombudsman program.
Long Term Care Ombudsmen are advocates for the residents of long term care facilities, including nursing homes, board and care homes and assisted living facilities. They are trained to help residents (and the families of residents) resolve problems that they may be experiencing with long term care facilities.
Long Term Care Ombudsmen can help families address the following long term care concerns:
- Violation of the resident’s rights or dignity
- Physical, verbal or mental abuse
- Poor quality of care
- Inappropriate use of restaints
You can contact your state’s Long Term Care Ombudsman program by visiting www.ltcombudsman.org, or if you would prefer you can contact one of the professional members of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance at www.ElderCareMatters.com, who can help you with these types of elder care matters.
Hope this helps.
Phillip G. Sanders, MBA, MSHA, CPA
Founder of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance