Long-term care ombudsmen are advocates for residents of nursing homes, personal care homes, domiciliary care homes, assisted living facilities and adult daily living centers. An ombudsman can assist a resident in resolving concerns about care of treatment in a facility. Ombudsmen also educate consumers and families about resident rights and how to advocate for themselves. Many residents prefer to speak for themselves rather than bringing in a government agency but need information and encouragement to feel comfortable speaking up.
Ombudsmen will not speak with facility staff about a resident without the resident's permission. If a resident is unable to express his or her wishes, the ombudsman will work with the POA on the resident’s behalf.
Community volunteers are an integral part of the ombudsman program. Volunteer Ombudsmen complete a series of trainings, some webinar/online training and some training in a classroom setting. The training process also includes shadowing an experienced ombudsman on facility visits.