Long Term Care Ombudsman are an important part of ensuring quality care for assisted living and long term care residents. Because the primary role of Ombudsman is to advocate for residents it is important for assisted living providers to develop a healthy working relationship with their local Ombudsman. Here are four easy tips to help you begin to develop this critical relationship:
- Understand their role: According to the National Association of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs (NASOP) the mission of the long-term care Ombudsman is to “seek resolution of problems and advocate for the rights of residents of long term care facilities…”
- Treat them as a partner, not an adversary: Ombudsman are involved in long term care for the same reason you are: to enhance the quality of life of your residents. Always focus on that goal when working with an Ombudsman, even when handling disputes.
- Let them help you: An Ombudsman can be a wonderful ally for assisted living providers. For example, if you are being pulled into the middle of a dispute between a resident and his/her family, the Ombudsman can act as an independent third party, helping you to advocate for what is best for the resident.
- Learn more: The following websites are a great resource to learn more about the Ombudsman: