March 15, 2017
Maine's Long-Term Care Ombudsmen were featured in the Bangor Daily News, the article is titled, "Maine’s long-term care ombudsman a tireless advocate." The article highlights the purpose of the Ombudsman program and what they do to help residents and family members from all different backgrounds and needs. The Ombudsman program provided assistance to a family in need of disability services. They have also helped a client who was unable to afford his medical copay because of an error made when calculating the amount he owed. Brenda Gallant is the State Ombudsman in Maine, she and her staff and volunteers have been instrumental in increasing quality of care in Maine.
“Our office exists to resolve any problem that any elderly person or disabled individual [has] in terms of access to long-term care, payments, quality of care or anything that interferes with their ability to get they care they need,” Gallant said. “Our services are free, confidential and statewide.”
The article also discusses the Older American's Act and how the Ombudsman office may take action on behalf of its clients, "“It is our federal law that lets us do our work,” Gallant said. “We can enter into any long-term care facility, day or night, with no invitation, and they can’t ask us to leave or keep us out.”
Gallant, who has been head of the agency since 1992, said she loves having the chance to help the people they serve. “I have the most wonderful and ethical staff and volunteers,” she said. “It’s an honor and a privilege to do what we do. Every day we help somebody, every day we do something that matters.”
Read the full article here.
Bethan Malcolm, regional ombudsman with the Maine Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, works the phone on behalf of one of her clients.
When Alec Young graduated from his special needs school last year, his parents were in the process of securing adult daycare services for the young man who is confined to a wheelchair and requires specialized assistance to eat, drink and communicate. When the Youngs ran into logistical challenges, the Maine Long Term Care Ombudsman Program was there to help.