Since 1978, the Kentucky Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has advocated for the aging population in nursing homes and other long-term care homes in each of Kentucky’s 120 counties.
Understanding Ombudsmen Duties
Kentucky’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program trains ombudsmen to resolve conflicts, stand up for residents’ rights, and promote residents’ dignity. When you have a problem with the way your loved one is being treated in his or her nursing home, you can call your local ombudsmen to help investigate the case confidentially.
According to the Older Americans Act, ombudsman duties include:
- Handling complaints. Ombudsmen must identify, investigate, and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents.
- Providing information. Ombudsmen should provide residents with information about their rights and available services and educate the public about institutional long-term care issues. Additionally, they provide technical support to resident and family councils.
- Providing legal advocacy. Ombudsmen should seek legal and administrative resolutions that protect residents’ best interests when dealing with government agencies.
- Influencing regulations. Ombudsmen analyze regulations that deal with the health, safety, and well-being of residents, comment on them, and recommend amendments.
- Promoting volunteer programs. Ombudsmen promote the formation of volunteer programs and other citizen organizations that advocate for elderly welfare.
Ombudsmen advocate for the following rights of nursing home and other long-term care residents:
- The Right of Citizenship. Nursing home residents keep their citizenship rights, including their right to vote and their right to religious freedom.
- The Right to Dignity. Nursing home residents have a right to be treated with respect and dignity.
- The Right to Privacy. Just because your loved one is in a nursing home doesn’t mean she loses the right to privacy. The right to privacy includes medical and personal records confidentiality, privacy with a spouse, and the right to private, uncensored communication.
- The Right to Have Personal Property. Residents have the right to keep personal property and to handle their own financial affairs.
- The Right to Information. Residents have the right to any information that pertains to them, including the long-term care facilities’ regulations and costs.
- The Right to Make Medical Treatment Decisions. Nursing home residents retain the right to participate in any treatment decisions, as well as the right to refuse treatment.
- The Right to Freedom from Restraint. Residents have a right to be free from physical or chemical restraint, unless specifically ordered by their physician.
- The Right to Receive Reasonable Care. Residents have a right to equal care and services, without discrimination in any form.
- The Right of Freedom of Expression. Residents have the right to express their complaints without fear or the threat of reprisal.
If any of your loved one’s rights have been violated, an ombudsman and a Louisville nursing home abuse attorney can help you work toward holding the nursing home responsible, and toward getting the care your loved one deserves.
Has Your Loved One Been Injured In A Nursing Home?
If you believe your loved one is being subjected to nursing home abuse you need to speak with an experienced Kentucky nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.