A long-term care ombudsman is an advocate for aging adults over 60 years old living in licensed and certified community-based living facilities. In this role, ombudspersons are dedicated to protecting vulnerable elderly individuals and improving the quality of care in long-term care facilities.
This includes resolving issues and addressing complaints related to abuse or other concerns.
Ombudspersons can help elderly adults and their family members with appeals and grievances, abuse and neglect complaints, transfer or discharge assistance, and much more.
What Powers do the Ombudsman Have?
An ombudsman is a neutral intermediary. For this reason, an ombudsman has the power to investigate and file complaints against leadership officials in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, as well as other influential organizations. They put the care of aging adults before anything (and anyone) else.
According to usombudsman.org, an ombudsperson can investigate complaints and issue a subpoena when necessary.
An ombudsman, however, has no enforcement or disciplinary powers. This might be a good place to start if you want to gather more information, understand your rights, and determine what steps to take next if you believe there is abuse.
When Should I Reach Out to an Ombudsman?
Every nursing home or long-term care facility should have visible contact information for their ombudsman representative. Ombudsman services are free to long-term care residents and their families.
If you believe your loved one is being abused, neglected, or exploited, you can file a confidential complaint with an ombudsperson. The ombudsman helps senior victims of abuse and works with families to understand their rights in the legal system.
When you give the ombudsman permission to share your concerns, they can raise these issues with high-up officials in the long-term care facility. They can arm you with information and resources and try to resolve your issue, though they are not attorneys and cannot force any legal action.
Do Attorneys Handle Nursing Home Negligence?
When a caregiver or family member fails to care for or treat your elderly loved one with love and respect, the abuse can have serious physical and mental consequences, including depression, anxiety, and increased cognitive decline.
The well-being and quality of life of your loved one is a priority, and any form of abuse is unacceptable. You can raise concerns inside the long-term care facility or with an ombudsman and engage outside advocates, such as the Elder Abuse Hotline.
Your loved one has the right to restitution for pain, suffering, and injuries. We can help facilitate an investigation and recover compensation and damages to cover the expenses and non-economic losses related to your loved one’s trauma.
Book a free consultation with our legal team to get started on your case: (302) 428-8800.