Specialized Information for:

Nursing HomesAssisted Living/Board & Care Home and Community Based Services

Ombudsman Best Practices

Alaska
The Alaska LTCOP testified in support of Senate Bill 86, which was signed into law in July 2012. The law strengthens protections for vulnerable adults, creating emergency protective orders in cases of financial abuse and also adding “undue influence” as a harm to vulnerable adults. The LTC Ombudsman can now advocate more effectively for seniors who are being exploited, or at risk of being exploited by caregivers or others. The law gives Alaskan advocates, protective service workers, law enforcement officers and courts the tools to identify and stop financial exploitation quickly – before seniors lose all their assets.(2013)

California
During its Spring Conference, the California LTCOP hosted its first annual Legislative Advocacy Day at the State Capitol. Fay Gordon from the National Senior Citizens Law Center spoke on how to engage in legislative advocacy. State Office staff prepared talking points and a list of legislation supported by the State Ombudsman. Individual Ombudsman Program Coordinators made appointments with legislators and legislative staff to discuss the LTCOP and the services it provides to their constituents. The event created greater visibility for the program and a better understanding of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (SLTCO). Since the event, legislators seek the opinion of the SLTCO on ideas for legislation. (2013)

California
The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (OSLTCO) supported two bills that will improve protections for people living in Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs). The OSLTCO worked closely with legislative staff to ensure amendments that would improve protections for residents were included.  (2011)

District of Columbia
In December 2011, DC Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program testified before city council against a proposed bill which would require that Advisory Neighborhood Commissions(ANCs) be notified each time a community residence facility was located in their ward of the city. The Ombudsman Program testified that this bill would violate the privacy of all CRF residents and provided examples how this law would specifically be detrimental to residents who lived in mental health CRFs. The bill was not passed. (December 2011)

District of Columbia
After years of continued advocacy by the DC Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, the DC Council passed two bills which changed the law pertaining to the Ombudsman Program: increasing ombudsman access to nursing homes to 24/7 access and expanding the LTCOP access to home care consumers. (2011)

District of Columbia
The DC LTCOP created a monthly “Advocacy Blast” to long-term care facilities in which it selected topics of discussion around the services, rights and quality of care for residents.  (2011)

Florida
The Florida LTCOP requested to amend Florida Ombudsman Statutes to align more closely with the Older Americans Act, streamline the ombudsman program operations, amend the composition of the State Advisory Council, remove boundaries for where a volunteer may serve and delete burdensome statutory requirements. The STLCO hopes this will lead to better advocacy for residents, added expertise to the State Advisory council to advise the State Ombudsman, remove boundaries for where a volunteer may serve and streamline the statutory requirements. (2013)

Hawaii
The Hawaii STLCO continues to advocate for legislation that would create a website for the state’s adult residential care homes, assisted living facilities, and community care foster family homes so the public has some information prior to making placement decisions. The SLTCO describes it as a simpler version of CMS’s Nursing Home Compare. The SLTCO has also developed and updates a list containing different state websites from across the country that post long-term care facility inspection results. (2013)

Iowa
The Office of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman was successful in advocating for legislation, funding and a full-time equivalent position (FTE) to implement a new Certified Volunteer Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. A Local Long-Term Care Ombudsman was hired in September and since then the program has been working with mentors in the Wisconsin LTCOP to develop program guidelines, recruitment tools and processes as well as training materials. The result has been a consistent and uniform system of volunteers that can assist the Iowa Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program in conducting non-complaint related monitoring visits. (2013)

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