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Finding a Quality Nursing Home -- Use Your State Ombudsman

Posted Mar 23 2010 9:15am

An Ombudsman is a person who acts as a trusted intermediary between an organization and some internal or external constituency while representing the broad scope of constituent interests.....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Did you know?

Each state has a federally funded long-term care ombudsman who is an advocate for nursing home patients. This is a free service that can be used by Alzheimer's caregivers who are trying to find a good nursing, or to help resolve problems with a nursing home.

An Ombudsman can tell you if there are state rankings or surveys available on nursing homes in addition to the Medicare ratings. The ombudsman can also help you find the latest health inspection reports, which are public information, on specific nursing homes. Ombudsmen can also tell you how many complaints the office has collected about a specific nursing home and the nature of those complaints.

Long-Term Care Ombudsman 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.
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