Ombudsman means citizen representative. They investigate reported complaints, report findings, and achieve resolutions. They can help one person resolve a problem, address issues that affect several residents, or work to change a systemic problem.
Long-term Care (LTC) ombudsmen serve residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the following ways:
Investigate and resolve complaints – An LTC ombudsman supports residents and families to resolve any problems the resident may be experiencing. The ombudsman can help by listening to concerns, explaining rights, and identifying possible courses of action. Complaints involving abuse or neglect are referred to the appropriate agency at the resident’s direction. In all situations, confidentiality is maintained and no information is released without permission of the resident or legal guardian.
Provide information and assistance – An LTC ombudsman is a good source of information about selecting a long-term care facility, applying for benefits like Medicaid, and other services for the elderly. Advocate for system and legislative changes – The LTC ombudsman program works cooperatively with other advocacy organizations to recommend legislative and regulatory changes that affect older Texans. Staff routinely serve on boards and committees of other organizations and actively advocate for policies to promote quality of care.
Across Texas, through all 28 LTC ombudsman programs, certified ombudsmen serve residents, their families, and friends. Professional staff supervise the volunteers.
Become a volunteer ombudsman
To find out more about becoming a volunteer ombudsman, call 1-800-292-5426.