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Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program in the Washington Post

April 30, 2017

The Washington Post ran a story about the importance of the long-term care ombudsman program. The article highlights the work of programs in all 50 states and the District by resolving almost 117,000 of 200,000 complaints in 2015 according to the Administration on Aging. The article featured a story from Barbara Corprew, a retired Justice Department lawyer, who is now a volunteer long-term care ombudsman in Washington, D.C., she said, “I know how important it is to find people who care and give good quality care. This was an opportunity to give back to the community and feel as if I was making a difference by representing people who didn’t have a voice." The Washington Post stresses ombudsman programs depending on volunteers and these volunteers coming from all kinds of backgrounds and careers. The article also talks about many nursing home residents having some degree of dementia or other disabilities that make it difficult for them to be their own advocates, while other residents don’t know whom to approach and how. An ombudsman can help fill that gap. Although ombudsmen cannot force facility management to follow state and federal laws, “we know the rules inside and out,” said Eileen Bennett, program director of the ombudsman program in Maryland’s Montgomery County. The article says the experience of being an ombudsman has only made Corprew more committed. “We all need people to care for us when we can’t care for ourselves,” she said. “I may be in this same situation . . . and hopefully there will be other people who will care about me and will come see me and will be my advocate." To read the full article, click here.