Aid for elders in long-term care |

Aid for elders in long-term care

Provided to the Tribune

As the number of senior citizens increases, the population of nursing and assisted living facilities also increases. Older individuals living in institutional care environments are vulnerable to many types of abuse and neglect.

The Older Americans Act authorizes the long-term care ombudsman to play a significant role in addressing the mistreatment of residents, whether it involves a violation of a resident’s rights, a deficiency in care, an administrative problem, or an issue concerning quality of life. He or she may interface with many people in addressing the complaint, including the resident, the resident’s family, the staff and administrators of the facility, and possibly other agencies such as adult protective services, public guardian and law enforcement.

The mission of the California Ombudsman Program is to advocate for the dignity, quality of life and quality of care for all residents in long-term care facilities. The program provides a voice to those seniors who are most vulnerable. The mission is carried out through six core functions of the ombudsman program. These core functions are:

1. Receive, investigate and resolve complaints

2. Ensure a presence in Long-Term Care Facilities

3. Monitor poor and best practices in Long-Term Care Facilities

4. Provide community awareness and involvement

5. Influence public policy that benefit residents

6. Ensure effective program administration

To contact the local ombudsman program, to volunteer or to report a problem, call Debra Brown at (530) 642-4860. The call can be anonymous and services are free.

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