Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman
The White House and Department of Health, Education and Welfare in response to complaints concerning abuse and neglect of nursing home residents initiated the Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTC) Program to improve the quality of care and insure the Rights of Residents residing in nursing homes in America. Originally a pilot project, this Program was elevated to statutory level in the Older American's Act of 1978. Federal statute ensured all state agencies on aging would establish an Ombudsman Program to serve their state's residents.
The North Carolina State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is located within the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services of the Department of Health and Human Services. A regional Ombudsman Program is located in each of the 17 Area Agencies on Aging.
The North Carolina Ombudsman Program serves long-term care residents in licensed Nursing Homes and Adult Care Homes, and works with families, facilities and others to improve the quality of life for long-term care residents.
The major responsibilities of the Ombudsman Program include:
- Receives and attempts to resolve complaints or concerns made by or on behalf of residents in long-term care facilities
- Providing information to the general public on long-term care issues
- Promoting community involvement with long-term care facilities and residents
- Working with long-term care providers to resolve issues affecting the welfare of residents
- Assisting long-term care providers with staff training (particularly on Resident’s Rights) http://www.ncdhhs.gov/aging/rights.htm
- Training and assisting Community Advisory Committees
- Community Advisory Committee (http://www.ncdhhs.gov/aging/ombud/cac.htm) members are appointed by the County Commissioners in the county where they live and will serve. They are trained and provided supportive assistance by the Regional Ombudsman
- Information to public agencies, legislators, and others on problems related to the Rights of Residents and making recommendations for resolution of issues identified