Long-Term Care Ombudsman

People living in a nursing home need an advocate.  The Central Missouri Area Agency on Aging (CMAAA) Ombudsman Program fulfills this advocacy role for residents and their families.

CMAAA’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is part of a nationwide service designed to improve the quality of care for nursing home residents.  The Ombudsman Program recruits and trains volunteer ombudsmen to hear complaints and to help find solutions to problems associated with living in a long-term care facility.

 

Volunteer ombudsmen are assigned to a specific facility where they make regular visits.  Here they become a trusted friend and a respected resource for the facility’s residents and staff members.  This service is available at no charge to residents of long-term care facilities.

 

In addition to listening to residents’ concerns and helping to solve problems, ombudsmen help residents understand the laws and regulations governing long-term care facilities.  In particular, ombudsmen teach about residents’ rights.

 

If a facility has no ombudsman, residents and their family members may contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman staff by calling 1-800-369-5211.  People are encouraged to share any concerns they may have.  All communication between residents and ombudsmen is confidential.

 

Every volunteer ombudsman is certified through CMAAA’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman office.  Volunteers receive 18 hours of training before becoming certified.  The trained ombudsman is then assigned to a facility where he or she makes weekly visits.

 

Here’s how the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program can help you.

If you live in a long-term care facility…

  • The volunteer ombudsman visits the facility each week, taking the time to listen to your concerns.

  • Anything you discuss with the ombudsman will be kept confidential, unless you give permission for the volunteer to act on your behalf.

  • The ombudsman can assist you with problems and will try to reach a solution that is fair to everyone involved.

  • The ombudsman can inform you of your rights as a resident in a long-term care facility in Missouri.

If you have a relative or friend in a long-term care facility…

  • The ombudsman can help you answer questions you may have about the resident’s care, charges for that care, or obtaining services from resources outside the facility.

  • The ombudsman can help you achieve and maintain a helpful relationship with facility staff.

  • You may call on the ombudsman for advice and assistance on behalf of the resident.

  • The ombudsman can help clarify the state long-term care facility regulations that apply to your situation.

If you are considering placing a loved one in a long-term care facility…

  • The regional ombudsman coordinator can provide information about the facility from the most recent inspection by the state’s Division of Aging.

  • You may request “A Guide To Selecting A Nursing Home in Central Missouri,” which includes information about levels of care, financial assistance, and a checklist to ease the task of choosing a facility.