What is an Ombudsman?
Ombudsmen are advocates for long-term care residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Every state within the United States is required to carry an ombudsman program under the federal Older Americans Act, which addresses complaints and advocates for improvements in the long-term care system. Additionally, an ombudsman educates consumers and long-term care providers about residents' rights and good care practices, promotes community involvement by providing volunteer opportunities, as well as promotes the development of family and resident councils. The Ombudsman program is administered by the Administration of Aging (AoA).
Who can use an Ombudsman?
Ombudsman services are available to residents of any nursing home or assisted living facility, a family member or friend of the resident, a nursing home administrator or employee, any individual or citizen's group interested in the welfare of residents, as well as individuals or families considering long-term care placement.
How does one contact the local Ombudsman program?
The Catholic Charities Ombudsman Program or the New York State Office for the Aging Senior Citizens Hotline is available to answer questions or concerns about: Resident Rights, Quality of Care, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman program is administered by the New York State Office for the Aging under provisions of the federal Older Americans Act. It is a coordinated system of the state and local advocacy services to receive, investigate, and resolve complaints and concerns of the residents in long term care facilities.
Catholic Charities Ombudsman Program: (315) 393-2255
NYS Office for the Aging Senior Citizens Hotline: 1-800-342-9871
(Source: The National Long-Term Ombudsman Resource Center; www.ltcombudsman.org)