Obudsman Giving Their Time to Assist the Elderly

Many retired folks are on a mission to aid  fellow seniors. As a volunteer ombudsman for  the Office of Long-Term Care, they can be responsible for aiding seniors in obtaining quality care. 

Ombudsman deal with everything under the sun. “Complaints about food — that’s probably the most common — assistance with Medicaid, even issues of abuse,”
said one ombudsman. Although separate from the State Department of Health and Human Services, long-term care ombudsmen are authorized by the state to act as senior advocates and to investigate cases of abuse.

 “As an ombudsman, the law says I’m entitled to have access to a senior facility at any time and I take advantage of that,” the volunteer Ombudsman said, adding that his agency also has subpoena powers.

 Abusive or negligent care providers can also be fined or have their licenses revoked through the DHS’ Adult Protective Services, the agency which steps in to oversee enforcement. However, Ombudsman try to resolve issues themselves, without having to report care facilities to the state office.One ombudsman explains that he is a trained mediator. “I can resolve about 50 percent of the issues reported to me that way — but if it takes a formal hearing in court, I win more than I lose.” For more, read the story.

 For information on Virginia Ombudsman, click here.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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