Long Term Care Ombudsman
Senior Services Associates offers two very valuable programs that advocate for residents of long term care facilities and their families. Click on either of the options below to learn about the Long Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman Services we can offer you and your loved ones and our LTC Volunteer Ombudsman Program for those seeking a meaningful volunteer opportunity.
Long Term Care Ombudsman Services
As an Illinois Area Agency on Aging, our professional LTC Ombudsmen assist residents of long term care facilities and their families by providing information on how to choose a nursing home, advocating for resident rights, investigating complaints, and mediating solutions to problems. Each LTC Facility has an ombudsman that is assigned to cover their facility, but keep in mind that our Ombudsmen are there to protect and promote the rights and quality of life for people who reside in long term care facilities.
If you or your loved one is in need of an advocate, please contact your nearest Senior Services Associates office.
What does a LTC Ombudsman do for LTC facility residents?
LTC Ombudsmen protect, defend and advocate for residents by:
- Informing residents of their rights as mandated by federal and state law
- Resolving resident complaints
- Providing information on resident needs and concerns to their families, facility staff and community
- Advocating for safety and good care at the highest practical level
Who can use our Ombudsman services?
Residents of any long term care facility; friends and relatives of people who live in LTC facilities; LTC facility staff members and administrators with resident-related concerns; individuals and families who are considering nursing home placement as a long term care option; the community-at-large; and other interested groups concerned about the welfare of residents of LTC facilities.
What you can expect from calling our LTC Ombudsman
Our professionally trained LTC Ombudsmen will:
- listen to resident and family concerns;
- keep all information confidential;
- involve the resident and/or family in the investigation and resolution plan; and
- seek to resolve problems within the facility.
When should you contact our LTC Ombudsmen?
Please do not hesitate to call any of our offices to report a problem or concern to seek information about LTC facilities; to learn more about Illinois’ Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. If you have any questions about facility services or standards, medical coverage, resident rights or need transfer or discharge information, know that we are here to help you and your loved ones.
And remember: retaliation is against both state and federal law!
Long Term Care Volunteer Ombudsman Program
Our volunteers find being a Volunteer Ombudsman very rewarding. They often comment that they know when they advocate for the rights of older adults that they are bringing joy and happiness to someone who may otherwise be forgotten or abused. Volunteers also like the flexibility of this program because nursing homes and Long Term Care facilities are open 24-hours a day.
If you bring the compassion and common sense, we will provide the training and ongoing support and supervision. Our cherished volunteers are not only the eyes and ears of the Ombudsman Program, and they are truly the heart of the program.
If you are interested in learning more about this program or would like to volunteer, please call one of our offices listed below:
- Aurora, Kane County: (630) 897-4035
- Elgin, Kane County: (847) 741-0404
- Yorkville, Kendall County: (630) 553-5777
- Crystal Lake, McHenry County: (815) 356-7457
- McHenry, McHenry County: (815) 344-3555
What Does a Volunteer Ombudsman Do?
Visits residents on a regular basis about once every week or two;
Listens to residents’ concerns and problems while having a friendly visit;
Reports to an Ombudsman Supervisor who will guide and direct volunteers while they respond to the needs of residents.
What Training Does a Volunteer Receive?
All volunteers receive initial and ongoing training from experts in various areas of elder rights, laws and advocacy.
What Do I Do When I Visit a Resident?
When initial training is completed, an Ombudsman staff member accompanies the volunteer on the first visit to the long term care facility. The volunteer is given a guided tour of the facility and is introduced to the facility staff. This gives the volunteer an opportunity to become familiar with the facility and to ask the staff questions. After the first visit, the volunteer visits residents regularly to build a bond with them and to show that you are ready to advocate for their rights.
What is my Commitment? How Often Do I Visit?
We ask for a one year commitment. This enables the volunteer and resident to get to know each other, and the volunteer gains valuable experience as an Ombudsman. Volunteers will usually visit residents in one or two facilities near their home on a regular basis, about once every one or two weeks.
What Experience and Skills are Needed?
The most important requirements are compassion, respect for older persons, and common sense. We provide the training needed to enable volunteers to help residents know their rights.