Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

The ombudsman program promotes the interests, well-being, and rights of long-term care facility residents.

Certified Ombudsmen are a listening ear and a voice for residents of long-term care settings. Ombudsmen educate residents, staff, families and the community about long-term care issues, resources, resident rights and quality of life in long-term care facilities. The philosophy of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman is to:

  • Advocate for the rights of residents;
  • Receive, investigate and resolve complaints of the resident concerning the quality of life in long-term care facilities;
  • Monitor laws, regulations and policies which impact long-term care residents;
  • Provide information to the public concerning long-term care settings.

The Ombudsman functions as a:

  • Team member working with staff and residents for quality care and quality of life for the residents;
  • Member of quality improvement teams, pointing out successes as well as areas that need additional work and resources;
  • Voice for those residents who are unable to speak for themselves;
  • Advocate for resident choices.
  • A Certified Ombudsman is assigned to one or more facilities. Each volunteer receives thirty hours of training before being assigned to a facility. Ongoing training is provided on a monthly basis. In addition, Ombudsmen are informed as to other training opportunities available in the area and are encouraged to attend.

More Information for Family Members and Residents
For more information on how to choose a long-term care facility, resident rights, understanding the long-term care system, advocacy and related issues, please visit the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program website at: http://www.waombudsman.org. This website has extensive information on long-term care issues that are important to residents and their families.

The National Long Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center

Get Involved!
The Washington State Long-Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman Program has been organized to utilize highly trained community volunteers to supplement the work of a small staff. The State of Washington authorizes the State LTC Ombudsman, Patricia Hunter, to delegate her authority (to advocate on behalf of long-term care residents) to citizens who undergo certification training and work under the principles and guidelines set by the LTC Ombudsman Program. Currently, there are over 500 Certified LTC Ombudsmen in Washington State, with an average of 20-25 actively volunteering in Lewis, Mason and Thurston Counties.

More Ombudsmen are needed!
We are in need of more volunteers who are dedicated to advocating for the rights of residents in long-term care facilities in Lewis, Mason and Thurston Counties. Please help us spread the word about our program. If you know someone who is interested, please let us know so we can send them information, or have them contact us directly.

The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is an equal employment/volunteer opportunity program and is committed to working with its employees/volunteers to reasonably accommodate them with the physical aspects of a position. Qualified applicants are considered without regard to race, creed, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical handicap.

WA State Long Term Care Ombudsman

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