Ombudsman Program

Ombudsman Program?
Ombudsmen are men and women trained to respond to the problems and needs of residents of nursing facilities and other long-term care facilities.

What do Ombudsmen do?
Ombudsmen work to assure that residents receive the best possible care and that they are treated with respect and dignity. Ombudsmen work with residents, their families, facilities, community organizations and other interested parties to address concerns that affect the lives of residents. Ombudsmen listen, provide information, assist residents in solving problems and help families identify suitable long-term care facilities for loved ones.

What kinds of problems do ombudsmen respond to?
Ombudsmen are interested in any problem, complaint or concern a resident may have. Common problems are with the quality of care, food, finances, activities, visitation, and the ability to exercise their rights as a resident or citizen.

Who should contact an ombudsman?
Anyone who has questions or concerns about the care or treatment a resident is receiving should contact an ombudsman.

How do you contact an ombudsman?
Ombudsmen visit the facility regularyly. You can talk to the ombudsman during one of these regular visits or you can contact him or her at:

Cenla Area Agency on Aging
Carolyn Smith
Nursing Home Advocate

A Guide to Residents' Rights

What rights do you have as a nursing home resident? All of the rights every other citizen enjoys, plus additional rights that have to do with your life ina a nursing home. Here is a partial listing of these additional rights:

  • To receive adequate and appropriate health care and protective and support services
  • To be free of physical restraints not documented as medically necessary
  • To have your choice of pharmacy and physician
  • To withhold payment for physician visitation if the physician did not examine you
  • To be transferred or discharged only after reasonable notice is given and only for medical reasons, the welfare of other residents, or for non-payment
  • To be protected from transfer or discharge from a Title XIX certified facitlity solely because the source of payment changes
  • To exercise your civil and religious liberties
  • To exercise your rights as a resident and a citizen
  • To complain and make suggestions without fear of coercion or retaliation
  • To be treated courteously, fairly and with the fullest measure of dignity
  • To be free of mental and physical abusee
  • To take part in various activities of the nursing home
  • To be free not to perform work
  • To choose a roommate, when possible
  • to have your own clothing and possessions
  • To manage your personal affairs, or if this is delegated to the facility, to receive an accounting report every three months upon request
  • To retire and rise in accord with reasonable requests
  • To consume a reasonable amount of alcolholic berverages, with some restrictions
  • To use tobacco in accord with applicable policies, rules and law
  • To have ample opportunity to visit with family and friends
  • To share a room with your spouse, if he/she is a resident of the same nursing home and both consent
  • To be informed of your rights, the rules and regulations of the nursing home
  • To receive prompt response to all reasonable requests and inquireies
  • To have any significant change in your health status reported to you
  • To be informed of your conditiion and planned medical treatment, and to participate in or refuse that treatment
  • To examine the results of the most recent survey conducted by state or federal surveeyors of the facility
  • To be informed of the bed reservation policy for hospitalization
  • To be told of all services available and all costs, including charges covered or not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the basic per diem rate
  • To be treated with consideration and respect for your personal privacy
  • To send and receive unopened mail
  • To receive visitors in privacy
  • To have your personal and medical records treated confidentially
  • To have regular access to private use of a telephone
  • To refuse to serve as a medical reserarch subject