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What Role Does an Ombudsman Play in a Nursing Home?

Ombudsmen represent nursing home residents and are advocates for their health, safety, and welfare. Every state has a long-term care ombudsman program that employs thousands of ombudsmen who are tasked with improving the quality of senior care. In fact, under The Older Americans Act, all states are legally required to have a nursing home ombudsman program. This ensures that nursing home residents nationwide can access help if they need it. 

If you are concerned for the wellbeing of a nursing home resident, an ombudsman or nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help you and your loved one. Here is some helpful information on the role of ombudsmen in nursing homes 

What Role Does an Ombudsman Play in a Nursing Home? 

While you may think that nursing homes are safe places for elderly people to spend the last years of their life, many nursing homes engage in questionable behaviors, including physical, emotional, and financial abuse. An ombudsman is a great resource for holding nursing homes accountable. A nursing home ombudsman takes certain actions to protect a nursing home’s residents. Some of these services include: 

  • Advocating for resident rights and top-notch care
  • Educating a resident and their family about their rights 
  • Providing the public with information about nursing homes
  • Reporting any observed nursing home abuse 
  • Cooperating with government and law enforcement during nursing home investigations 

These are a couple of ways that an ombudsman might provide essential support to nursing home residents and their families. If an ombudsman suspects that abuse has taken place at a nursing home, they may also refer families to nursing home abuse lawyers to ensure the facility is held legally accountable. 

How do Ombudsmen Improve Nursing Home Care? 

Unfortunately, many staff members at nursing homes don’t provide proper care. In these scenarios, an ombudsman can step in to advocate for at-risk individuals. They will listen to the concerns of residents receiving lesser care and make sure the right parties and resources are made aware of any alarming information. Specifically, ombudsmen can improve nursing home care by taking the following actions: 

  • Resolving complaints. Nursing home ombudsmen may assist residents in ensuring any complaints they make are resolved without fear of mistreatment. For example, they may notify the staff of residential care facilities of any complaints regarding improper administration of medicines, verbal or emotional abuse, or poor food quality.  
  • Holding nursing homes accountable. Ombudsmen regularly visit nursing home facilities looking for signs of abuse and neglect. When they suspect abuse is taking place, they work to hold facilities accountable. 
  • Advocating for the best elder care. While ombudsmen spend a good portion of their time resolving and reporting nursing home malpractice, they also work to continuously improve the quality of care nursing home residents receive as a whole. 

These are just a couple of ways ombudsmen work to improve the industry of elder care. If you suspect that a nursing home resident you know is not being treated fairly, it’s essential to seek the help of a skilled nursing abuse lawyer. 

Call an Expert Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in New York City

If you suspect a loved one has suffered neglect at their nursing home, the attorneys at Dalli & Marino are here to help. Our seasoned New York trial attorneys have been aggressively advocating for victims of nursing home abuse since 1996. We are committed to cultivating strong relationships with our clients through trusted, reliable communication. 

Our team of skilled attorneys approaches each case on an individual basis and is dedicated to helping you recover the money you deserve as compensation for your experience. Give us a call at (888) 465-8790 or complete our contact form today.