Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
The main goal of the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is to be an advocate for older persons and persons with disabilities living in nursing homes, assisted living, and adult homes. Residents in the facilities have the right to proper care, accommodations, and respect, as well as the right to leave a facility. Ombudsmen help residents and their families exercise their rights to quality care and quality of life. The program advocates for residents at both the individual and systems level by:
- Receiving, investigating, and resolving complaints made by or on behalf of residents.
- Promoting the development of resident and family councils.
- Informing governmental agencies, providers, and the general public about issues and concerns impacting residents of long-term care facilities.
The New York State Office for Aging Long Term Care Ombudsman Program provides a broader overview of the Ombudsman program, and a list of Ombudsman programs in each New York Country:
The North Country Center for Independence operates the Ombudsman program in Clinton, Essex, and Franklin counties. The Ombudsman Coordinator recruits, trains, and supervises the volunteers who provide Ombudsman services at long term care facilities in the area.
Volunteer Ombudsmen respond to a variety of concerns about long-term care including:
- Quality of care
- Abuse and neglect
- Rights violations
- Lost and stolen belongings
- Dietary concerns
- Public benefits programs
- Cost of care
- Discharge, eviction, or termination of services
Volunteer Ombudsmen must complete certification training before starting work. Training is offered periodically throughout the year, and is announced by NCCI when scheduled. Those interested may apply at any time.