Ombudsman

Our Mission: Advocate for those who can’t, support those who can, and ensure all long-term care consumers live with respect and dignity.

Ombudsman is a Swedish word which means “citizen representative”.

The Ombudsman services are provided to, or on behalf of, residents in Personal Care Homes, Nursing Facilities, Domiciliary Care Homes, and anyone receiving Long Term Care Services in the community. The Ombudsman receives, verifies, and attempts to resolve any complaint on a local level by acting as a negotiator between the complainant and homeowner and/or administrator.

Pennsylvania Ombudsmen are federally mandated, legally-based, and state certified to actively advocate and give voice to people who receive long-term care services, whether delivered in the community or a facility-based setting.

The Older Adults Act of 1965 established the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and required the Department of Aging to implement it in the nursing home setting. In Warren and Forest counties, the ombudsman now also advocates for the residents of personal care homes, adult day care facilities and for those receiving services in the community. Ombudsmen are resident-directed, which means that the resident must give permission for their concerns to be shared with others. Otherwise these matters are kept confidential between the ombudsman and the resident.

What does an Ombudsman do?

1. Provides information to residents and family about rights, procedures and additional resources within the facility or community.
2. Investigates concerns and works to resolve issues that may involve a resident in a long-term care facility.
3. Offers consumer education programs and carries out training for facility staff.
4. Assists in the development of resident councils.
5. Instructs PEER classes in facilities. These classes instruct residents who will advocate for other residents in their own facility . (Pennsylvania’s Empowered Expert Residents)