Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (OAA, Title VII, Chapter 2, Sections 711/712)
- The Purpose of the Program and How it Works
- Data Highlight Extensive Services Provided to People Living in Long-Term Care Facilities
- Resource Update for State Long-Term Care Ombudsmen: Fact Sheet and Guidance for Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 and Opportunities for Coordination Related to Section Q Implementation
- Funding History
- Resources and Useful links
The Purpose of the Program and How It WorksLong-Term Care Ombudsmen are advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes, assisted living facilities and similar adult care facilities. They work to resolve problems of individual residents and to bring about changes at the local, state and national levels that will improve residents’ care and quality of life.
Begun in 1972 as a demonstration program, the Ombudsman Program today exists in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, under the authorization of the Older Americans Act. Each state has an Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, headed by a full-time state ombudsman. Thousands of local ombudsman staff and volunteers work in hundreds of communities throughout the country as part of the statewide ombudsman programs, assisting residents and their families and providing a voice for those unable to speak for themselves.
The statewide programs are federally funded under Titles III and VII of the Act and other federal, state and local sources. The AoA-funded National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center , operated by the National Consumers’ Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (or, Consumer Voice), in conjunction with the National Association of States Agencies on Aging United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD), provides training and technical assistance to state and local ombudsmen.
Data Highlight Extensive Services Provided to Persons Living in Long-Term Care FacilitiesProgram data for FY 2011 indicate that long-term care ombudsman services to residents were provided by 1,186 full-time equivalent staff and 9065 volunteers, trained and certified to investigate and resolve complaints. These volunteers and paid ombudsmen:
- Worked to resolve 204,044 complaints, opening 134,775 new cases (a case contains one or more complaints originating from the same person(s)).
- Resolved or partially resolved 73% of all complaints to the satisfaction of the resident or complainant.
- Provided 289,668 consultations to individuals
- Visited 70% of all nursing homes and 33% of all board and care, assisted living and similar homes at least quarterly.
- Conducted 5,144 training sessions in facilities on such topics as residents’ rights.
- Provided 114,033 consultations to long-term care facility managers and staff and participated in 20,958 resident council and 3,321 family council meetings.
- Improper eviction or inadequate discharge planning;
- Lack of respect for residents, poor staff attitudes;
- Medications – administration, organization; and
- Resident conflict, including roommate to roommate.
- Quality, quantity, variation and choice of food;
- Medications – administration, organization;
- Inadequate or no discharge/eviction notice or planning;
- Equipment or building hazards; and
- Lack of respect for residents, poor staff attitudes.