Housing for Older Adults
Long-term care Ombudsmen are advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes and assisted living facilities. Ombudsmen provide information about how to find a facility and what to do to get quality care. They are trained to resolve problems. If you want, the Ombudsman can assist you with complaints. However, unless you give the Ombudsman permission to share your concerns, these matters are kept confidential. Under the federal Older Americans Act, every state is required to have an Ombudsman Program that addresses complaints and advocates for improvements in the long-term care system.
The Ombudsman program is administered by the Administration on Aging (AoA)/Administration for Community Living (ACL). The network has 6,163 volunteers certified to handle complaints and 1,297 paid staff. Most state Ombudsman programs are housed in their State Unit on Aging. Nationally, in 2018 the Ombudsman program investigated over 194,516 complaints and provided information on long-term care to another 409,311 people. Whether through individual contact with residents or systemic advocacy, Ombudsmen make a difference in the lives of residents in long-term care facilities everyday.
A Long-Term Care Ombudsman:
- Resolves complaints made by or for residents of long-term care facilities
- Educates consumers and long-term care providers about residents’ rights and good care practices
- Promotes community involvement through volunteer opportunities
- Provides information to the public on nursing homes and other long-term care facilities and services, residents’ rights and legislative and policy issues
- Advocates for residents’ rights and quality care in nursing homes, personal care, residential care and other long-term care facilities
- Promotes the development of citizen organizations, family councils and resident councils
- Long-term care Ombudsmen efforts are summarized in the National Ombudsman Reporting System (Click here for current NORS data) to include the number of facilities visited, the types of complaints handled and the kinds of complaints filed with Ombudsmen. Data has been collected since 1996 and gives a good picture of the extent of ombudsman activities nationally and in every state.
Source: The Consumer Voice
Contact your local Area Agency on Aging and 2-1-1 and they may know of additional resources on this topic.
Area Agency on Aging (AAA)
An Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is a public nonprofit agency designated by a state to address the needs and concerns of all older persons at the regional and local levels. AAAs are primarily responsible for a geographic area, also known as a planning and service area (PSA), that is either a city, a single county, or a multi-county district. AAAs coordinate and offer services that help older adults remain in their homes, if that is their preference, aided by services such as home-delivered meals, homemaker assistance, and whatever else it may take to make independent living a viable option.
Find your local AAA by visiting their website or calling 1-800-677-1116.
2-1-1 is a confidential and multilingual service connecting people to vital resources across the state. No matter where you live in Colorado, you can find information about resources in your local community. Dial 2-1-1 from your phone or visit their website.
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