A long-term care ombudsman is a trained advocate who protects and promotes the rights and quality of life for people who reside in nursing homes, assisted living residences, and similar licensed long-term care facilities.
Long Term Care Ombudsmen work to resolve individual resident issues and to bring about changes at the local, state, and national level to improve long-term care. They regularly visit long-term care facilities, monitor conditions and care, and provide a voice for those unable to speak for themselves.
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman receives complaints from residents, family members and others and, with the resident’s consent, investigates the complaints. Complaints range from simple quality of care issues, such as a resident’s preferred time for breakfast, to very serious, sometimes life threatening concerns involving abuse and neglect. When necessary, the ombudsman will work cooperatively with other agencies such as the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, local law enforcement and Adult Protective Services to resolve concerns identified during a complaint investigation.
Local ombudsmen can also assist prospective residents in locating a facility that best meets their needs.