What is a Long-Term Care Ombudsman?

Issues for an Ombudsman

Ombudsman Contacts

The Volunteer Ombudsman Program

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Volunteer Ombudsman Program

Job Description Role of Ombudsman Volunteer Visitors

  • Inform residents of their rights under Federal and State Law and assist them in protecting their rights. 

  • Provide information about the Ombudsman Program to residents and families.

  • Refer complaints, concerns to designated Regional Ombudsman.

  • Observe and report conditions in nursing home to the Regional Ombudsman

  • Provide administrative support to Ombudsman as requested.

Qualifications:

  • Be at least 18 years old

  • Have reliable transportation

  • Experience in working with older people

  • No immediate family presently employed by a LTC facility

  • No family member resides in nursing home where volunteer is visiting

  • No conflict of interest may exist personally, financially, or professionally with long-term care facility.

Training Required

  • Must attend specified hours of formal training before placement

  • Must attend quarterly in-service training classes

  • Must successfully complete orientation training at facility

Responsibilities

  • Visit residents in assigned facility 2-4 hours weekly

  • Explain the purpose of the Ombudsman Program to residents and family

  • Complete all required paperwork accurately and on time

  • Observe and report to the Regional Ombudsman regarding care in assigned facility

  • Meet with the designated facility staff person on each visit and with the Facility Administrator as needed to keep them informed.

  • Abide by nursing facility policies

  • Help residents and their families understand facility policies

  • Attend Resident and Family Council activities when requested

  • Refer complaints or problems received or observed to the Regional Ombudsman

  • Ask for technical assistance from Regional Ombudsman.

  • Adhere to the confidentiality and code of ethics agreement at all times

Supervision:

  • The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Staff provides supervision and technical assistance.

Volunteer Visitors Rules of Conduct

  • Volunteer Visitors regardless of experience or credentials shall not provide medical or nursing care to residents. This is cause for immediate termination.

  • Volunteer visitors shall not assist residents in the activities of daily living including but not limited to: feeding, hydrating, bathing, walking, exercising, range of motion exercises, toileting, grooming, dressing, pushing wheelchairs

  • Volunteer visitors agree to keep any information about long-term care ombudsman cases, complaints, residents, facilities, and staff confidential.

  • Volunteer Visitors agree not to express an opinion about the quality of specific long-term care facilities to the public, family or friends

  • Volunteer visitors will not provide resident entertainment or provide activities.

  • Volunteer Visitors will not transport resident under any circumstance.

  • Volunteer Visitors will not assume any financial or decision-making responsibility for residents in facilities they visit in the capacity of an ombudsman.

  • Volunteer visitors will not become guardians, conservators, or powers of attorney for residents in the long term care facilities where they visit as a volunteer. This creates a conflict of interest.

  • Volunteer Visitors will not provide ombudsman services in facilities where they have a family member or close personal friend. This creates a conflict of interest.

  • Volunteer Visitors are to be professional in their personal conduct while conducting Ombudsman business. Certain behaviors are prohibited, and if verified, may result in suspension or termination. These behaviors are: Use of foul, profane or obscene language; verbal or physical threats; hostile or prejudicial language towards any class or group of people; sexual innuendo, sexually explicit language or sexual harassment of long term care facility staff, residents or family; dating between Volunteer Visitors and facility staff; signs of alcohol consumption or illegal drug use; accepting gifts of value from residents, families, facility staff or other parties involved in the long term care system; Offering gifts to facility staff; Offering gifts to residents; espousing political or religious views while on official ombudsman business; paying for care items needed by residents; conviction of a misdemeanor relating to inappropriate sexual behavior, harassment or abuse of any kind; visiting the facility accompanied by family members, friends or associates other than those officially involved in the long term care system; accepting food, coffee, snacks or anything else from facility representatives.

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Copyright 2000 AR Division of Aging and Adult Services