What We Do

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program The Ombudsman Program was established by federal law over three decades ago. Trained and certified Ombudsman advocates assist residents and families throughout the nation. Our mission is to promote high-quality, compassionate care for consumers of long-term care services through complaint investigation and resolution, and providing access to unbiased factual information on long-term care issues. The Ombudsman Program may be reached by phone at (800) 395-8267 or (937) 223-4613. We work with individuals and long-term care facilities to resolve complaints and advocate for resident's rights and person-centered care concepts for nursing home residents in Montgomery, Preble, Greene, Clark, Miami, Darke, Logan, Shelby, and Champaign Counties. Our work as advocates is consistent with the following principles: Ombudsman Principles:
  • The resident's or care recipient's right to self-determination is respected and consistently supported.
  • All Ombudsman actions are directed by the client or by their recognized legal surrogate as determined by law.
  • Informed consent is promoted through access to and discussion of information, care options in the least restrictive environment and any consequences of decisions.
  • The right to confidentiality is paramount and protected unless specific permission is granted to release information.
  • The Ombudsman acts in accordance with standards and practices consistent with the achieved level of certification and as determined by the State Ombudsman for Ohio located at the Ohio Department of Aging.
  • Ombudsmen work at the direction of the care recipient or legal representative and while they have no regulatory powers are very successful in problem solving and  negotiating a resolution to care concerns;
  • You can speak with an Ombudsman knowing that your problem will be handled professionally and confidentially. No information will be released without your explicit approval.
  • We provide options to resolving your specific complaint through referral, negotiation and other interventions.
What services are offered?
  • The long-term care Ombudsmen are advocates for consumers, regardless of age, who are receiving or did receive long term care services.  Ombudsmen assist residents in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult care homes as well as in-home services.
  • There are no fees or charges for assistance provided by the Ombudsman program.
  • The Ombudsman Program offers three types of services; Information, complaint investigation/resolution and advocacy in the facilities.
Information Services:
  • Information on your rights as a consumer of LTC services
  • Information and guidance in using performance and quality data to help select the right service provider for you.
  • Information regarding the rules and laws which apply to long-term care services in Ohio
  • Information on the full range of care options to best meet your individual needs

Resident's Rights in Nursing Homes

Residents are protected under Ohio Revised Code Section 3721.13.
    Residents have the right to:
  • a safe and clean living environment;
  • be free from physical, verbal, mental and emotional abuse and be treated at all times with courtesy, respect with full recognition of dignity and individuality;
  • proper medical treatment, nursing care and other services that compromise necessary and appropriate care consistent with the program for which the resident contracted without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, or payment source;
  • have all reasonable requests and inquiries responded to promptly;
  • have clothes and bed linens changed as needed to ensure comfort and sanitation;
  • name and specialty of any physician or individual responsible for coordinating care;
  • select staff physician of choice and select attending physician not on staff if desired;
  • communicate with physician and staff in planning treatment and care, obtain current medical information, have access to medical records and give and withhold informed consent for treatment;
  • withhold payment to physician who did not provide service
  • confidential treatment of personal and medical records and information;
  • privacy during medical examinations and personal care;
  • refuse to serve as a research subject
  • be free from chemical and physical restraints;
  • pharmacist of choice and pay fair market price for medications;
  • exercise all civil rights unless adjudicated incompetent;
  • have access to opportunities that enable the resident to achieve his fullest potential;
  • consume alcoholic beverages unless contradictory to written admission policies;
  • use tobacco unless contradictory to written admission policies;
  • retire and rise on own schedule per request;
  • observe religious obligations and activities, maintain individual and cultural identity, and participate in social and community groups;
  • private and restricted communications, receive and send sealed, unopened correspondence, access to a telephone and private visits;
  • privacy for visits by a spouse or share a room if both are residents of the facility;
  • have room doors closed and not have them opened without knocking;
  • retain and use personal clothing and possessions in a secure manner;
  • be informed in writing of basis rate changes, services offered by the facility and charges for additional services and receive a 30-day notice of changes;
  • receive and review itemized bills for charges on a monthly basis;
  • be free from from financial exploitation and manage own financial affairs and receive quarterly accounting of financial transactions, if this right is delegated to the home;
  • unrestricted access to property on deposit at the facility;
  • reasonable notice, including explanation, before room or roommate is charged;
  • not be transferred or discharged except for medical reasons, welfare of the resident or residents, non-payment or revocation of the facilities license or certification;
  • voice grievances and recommendations free from restraint, reprisal, or discrimination;
  • have significant changes in health status reported to sponsor;

Consumer Guide

The Long-term Care Consumer Guide Do you want to find out if the food tastes good at a particular nursing home?  Or do you want to learn if residents are treated with respect, are offered interesting activities to enjoy or if the aides are kind in their caregiving? The answers to those questions and much more information is available from the Long –term Care Consumer Guide.  The Guide is an interactive resource that includes information about nursing homes and residential care facilities in Ohio, such as size, location, services offered, customer satisfaction, regulatory compliance, performance measures and more. Family members of nursing home residents are surveyed periodically about the care their loved ones receive. The Guide includes their responses along with responses from residents of nursing homes and assisted living centers who were surveyed. Some of the questions residents are asked include:  Do the people who work here let you make choices about the things you want to do for yourself? Do the therapists spend enough time with you? Can you get outdoors when you want to? Looking at this site can save you trouble, time and even money, and can help you determine where you or someone you love will receive good care. Below are some tips on how to use the Guide How to Select? There are almost 1,000 nursing homes in the state of Ohio.  How do you determine which will meet your needs?  The first steps involve reviewing the possibilities to narrow your selection: Location. Use the geographic search function to find nursing homes within a comfortable travel distance from friends and family Services.  Review the services each nursing home offers for those that will meet your needs.  Each facility may indicate on the Long-Term Care Consumer Guide the special services they offer.  Does the facility's description of services match the medical, social and community connections you desire? Quality Indicators. All consumers of long-term care services deserve excellent care.  The Long-Term Care Consumer Guide contains the following information about each nursing home licensed by the State of Ohio and/or certified for Medicaid/Medicare by the federal government.   The Guide contains the following information about each nursing home licensed by the State of Ohio and/or certified for Medicaid/Medicare by the federal government:
  • Inspection Reports, from the Ohio Department of Health, provide information on nursing home compliance with state and federal law.
  • Facility Details, such as the special services provided, the religious or fraternal affiliations, accreditation, costs, and staffing ratios, are provided by the facilities.
  • Family Satisfaction Survey Scores reflect the opinions of family members of nursing home residents at a point in time and provide clues for you when evaluating a home for yourself or your family or friend. You may view a spreadsheet of overall satisfaction scores for nursing homes.
  • Resident Satisfaction Survey Scores reflect the perceptions of nursing home and residential care (assisted living) facility residents gathered through face-to-face surveys. Spreadsheets of overall satisfaction scores for nursing homes and overall satisfaction scores for residential care facilities are available.
Review the quality information available particularly for the medical, social, and spiritual needs that you or your loved one have. Costs. Confirm with the facility staff that the nursing homes you consider will accept your insurance coverage, Medicaid or Medicare or that the rates are within your ability to pay privately. Visit. Once you've narrowed your list of possibilities, it is very important to visit the homes you're considering.  If possible, you should visit multiple times and at different times of day to get a good sense of what the home is like on a day-to-day basis.  Speak with current residents and their families about their experiences.  Use this list below from the Department of Aging to ask the administration about the facility’s performance. Positive observations
  • The interactions between residents and staff are marked by friendliness, patience and respect. Staff seem to know the residents well, call them by name, and know what they like and don’t like.
  • Staff knock before entering residents’ rooms and residents have privacy available to them, even in shared rooms.
  • Look for residents engaged in age-appropriate activities, able to get outside, or able to rest comfortably.
  • Meal service is appetizing and the dining room(s) are appealing.  Residents are assisted with eating, if needed.
Concerns
  • Loud overhead paging and call lights going unanswered.
  • Staff clustered around nurse’s stations without interacting with residents.  Residents grouped in front of the nurse’s station with nothing to do, slumped in wheelchairs.
  • Meals are served late, aren’t appealing, or served at the wrong temperatures.  Residents left unassisted in front of their meals or not served at the same time as their table-mates.
  • Residents dressed inappropriately for the weather or in gowns or clothing that doesn’t sufficiently cover their bodies.  Residents’ personal grooming is not dignified.
  • Poor maintenance or cleanliness in the resident and common areas.  Pervasive odors, unwashed linens.
If you don't have access to a computer, you can call us at 223-4613 or 1-800-395-8267.

Ohio Department of Aging

Ohio Department of Aging:  The Ohio Department of Aging is a cabinet-level state agency that administers services and supports for older adults, their caregivers and their families.  Their staff lead a network of agencies and service providers that help elder Ohioans maintain quality of life and independence.  Aging Ohioans need to have access to an array of services and supports that are person-centered in policy and practice, and well-coordinated.

Person-Centered Care

Person-centered care is taking root in Ohio as nursing homes, assisted living homes and home and community-based service providers continue to transition from an institutional culture toward an environment that supports the core values of person-centered care. The core values of choice, dignity, respect, self-determination and purposeful living are emerging in ideas, conversations and practice. Persons receiving long-term care services are starting to sense the benefits of person-centered care as their preferences, personal practices, community involvement and life continues to grow and evolve while receiving supportive services in the setting of their choice and that best meets their needs. Pioneer Network:  Pioneer Network advocates for elders across the spectrum of living options (which are often dictated by differing levels of the medical care required) and is working towards a culture of aging that supports the care of elders in settings where individual voices are heard and individual choices are respected — whether it is in nursing homes, transitional care settings or wherever home and community may be. Ohio Person-Centered Care Coalition:  The mission of the Ohio Person-Centered Care Coalition is to influence and support transformational culture change in the long-term care environments where all individuals can experience meaning and purpose.

FAQs

Q: What is a Long-term Care Ombudsman? A: An advocate and problem solver for consumers of long-term care services. Q: Who can receive Long-term Care Ombudsman assistance? A: Anyone receiving care in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or adult care facility as well as persons receiving services that allow them to remain independent in the community. Q: How do I contact an Ombudsman? A: The Ombudsman Program may be reached by phone at (800) 395-8267 or (937) 223-4613. We work with individuals and long-term care facilities to resolve complaints and advocate for resident's rights and person-centered care concepts for nursing home residents in Montgomery, Preble, Greene, Clark, Miami, Darke, Logan, Shelby, and Champaign Counties. The Area Agency on Aging also provides free or low-cost elder protective services in the following counties of West Central Ohio: Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Logan, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Shelby.  They may be reached by phone at (800) 258-7277 or (937) 341-3000. Q: How do I choose the right nursing home? A: We can provide consumers with survey information from the Ohio Department of Health, as well as verified complaint activity by Ombudsman investigators. Lists of all nursing homes, assisted living, and group, family and foster homes in Montgomery, Preble, Greene, Clark, Miami, Darke, Logan, Shelby, and Champaign Counties are also available.  This public information is available at ltc.ohio.gov.
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