How can nursing home ombudsmen help with problems encountered in a long-term care facility?

 “How can nursing home ombudsmen help with problems encountered in a long-term care facility?”

-Carol, Beachwood, Ohio

How can nursing home ombudsmen help with problems encountered in a long-term care facilityEvery state is required to have a long-term care ombudsmen program as set forth by the Federal Older Americans Act.  In the long-term care setting, ombudsmen act as patient advocates to help families find facilities that meet resident needs, address problems encountered in long-term settings and inform patients of their legal rights.

Most people utilizes ombudsmen services when they encounter a problem at a facility such as a resident injury resulting from abuse or neglect.  In this context, an ombudsman can help in the investigation of the incident and resolve problems with the facility.

In many cases, the information provided by a nursing home ombudsman may substantiate an episode of poor care.  This information may be helpful in determining how an incident occurred and if the matter should be pursued as a nursing home negligence lawsuit.  Even in cases where there are findings of improper care, most jurisdictions prohibit ombudsmen reports from being introduced into civil lawsuit.

If you have a question regarding nursing home care or seek more information regarding a nursing home injury, the ombudsmen program is a great resource to help provide you with more information. Unless you give ombudsmen specific permission to share your information with the facility, all personal information will be kept confidential.

For laws related to Ohio nursing homes, look here.


National Long Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center– provides contact information for ombudsman in every state.


0 responses to “How can nursing home ombudsmen help with problems encountered in a long-term care facility?”

  1. Mary Adams says:

    Hi, I was wondering: Is there a law that X amount of CNA’S per residents is required in a Nursing Home? to ensure everyone gets the care needed.

  2. Great question Mary! Unfortunately, staffing requirements for nursing homes are vague. The Federal Law that applies to nursing home staffing suggests that “sufficient nursing staff to attain or maintain the highest practicable … well-being of each resident…” Federal standards also require specific minimum requirements of 8-hours of registered nurse and 24-hours of licensed nurse coverage per day depending on the size of the facility.
    Given this relatively vague staffing mandate, it can be frustrating for families to determine if facilities are adequately staffed. Perhaps there needs to be more federal and state legislation to address specific staffing requirements.

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