Elderly Resources / Posted 1 year ago / 537 views
When I worked as a Social Worker in Florida, I contacted this agency multiple times to seek assistance advocating for my patients. If you have ever worked with me or I have been your Social Worker, you know that I am all about policies and will fight/advocate to ensure that the policy is followed. Even when there is a gray area in the policy, I make sure to advocate for the best interest of my patient. Having the Ombudsman’s support goes a long way and sometimes they are able to get faster results. I recommend reaching out to them and staffing situations as they are really kind 🙂 Great resource and agency!!!
In the state of Florida, a long-term care ombudsman is a trained volunteer who helps to improve the quality of care and quality of life for residents of long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and adult family care homes.
Nearly 60% of long-term care residents in Florida do not receive visits from family members and friends. They may feel alone, isolated and that they have no voice in the daily care they receive. Unfortunately, many of them do not have anyone to look out for their best interests when it comes to their personal rights, health, safety and welfare.
Volunteer ombudsmen are community members, from all walks of life, who are passionate about improving the life for residents living in long-term care facilities. They are trained to work with residents and their family members to communicate concerns and resolve problems by providing advocacy, support, education and empowerment. These volunteers simply want their time and talents to make a difference in improving the lives of people who may be elderly and/or disabled.
We are proud to be a unique program whose success depends on the commitment, courage and compassion of volunteers. Ombudsmen are the heart of our program. These special individuals dedicate thousands of unpaid hours each year to ensuring that the voices of Florida’s long-term care facility residents are heard and problems resolved.
Volunteer ombudsmen spend thousands of hours each year in licensed long-term care facilities, working to identify, investigate and resolve the concerns of residents and their loved ones, and performing annual assessments of every facility in Florida.
The program consistently empowers residents to know their rights, and often provides a voice for those who may not be able to speak up for themselves. To view a list of rights granted to each individual in a long-term care facility, please click on the following links:
Bill of Rights for residents of assisted living facilities and adult family care homes
Bill of Rights for residents of nursing homes
Volunteer ombudsmen are trained in resident’s rights, problem solving, communication, intervention, negotiation skills, and working with long-term care staff. They advocate for improving the quality of life for residents by listening to the concerns of residents and their loved ones and working with them and the long-term care staff to assist in resolving their unmet needs and concerns.
Ombudsmen also receive and investigate complaints on behalf of nursing home residents and their families and serve as a voice for residents in ensuring that the facility meets mandated legal standards for every person receiving long-term care services. Examples of common issues in nursing homes include: discharges and evictions, medication administration and matters of personal hygiene. Common issues in assisted living facilities and adult family-care homes include: menu quality, quantity and variation; medication administration; and general housekeeping or cleanliness.
Ombudsmen work to resolve residents’ concerns, to the best of their abilities and within the greatest extent of the law. All services are provided at no charge, and all complaints are confidential.
f you would like to learn more about the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program or talk with someone about becoming a volunteer, please contact a local ombudsman office in your area. Click HERE to see a list of district offices.
Please contact the ombudsman headquarters office at:
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
4040 Esplanade Way, Suite 380
Tallahassee, FL 32399-7000
850-414-2323 or toll-free 1-888-831-0404
Or click HERE to send us an email.
When admitted to a long-term care facility, an individual maintains his or her rights as a citizen and also gains a special set of residents’ rights, which are mandated by federal and state law. These rights are outlined based on the type of facility (nursing homes, assisted living facilities and adult family care homes).
According to Section 400.022, Florida Statutes:
Nursing home facilities shall adopt and make public a statement of the rights and responsibilities of the residents and shall treat such residents in accordance with the provisions of that statement. Each resident shall have the right to:
Also, federal law prevents nursing homes from discharging (removing) or transferring (moving to another facility) a resident except for the following reasons:
A nursing home must give residents 30 days written notice prior to discharge or transfer. A resident who thinks the above rights have been violated must request a hearing in writing within 90 days by sending the form given to them by the facility to: Office of Appeals Hearings, 1317 Winewood Boulevard, Building 5, Room 203, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0700. (Telephone: 1-850-488-1429)
Requesting a hearing within 10 days stops the removal of the resident until the hearing process is completed. A nursing home resident may request assistance from the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program by calling toll-free 1-888-831-0404.
According to Section 429.28 and 429.85, Florida Statutes:
No resident of a facility shall be deprived of any civil or legal rights, benefits, or privileges guaranteed by law, the Constitution of the State of Florida, or the Constitution of the United States as a resident of a facility. Every resident shall have the right to:
Also, every assisted living facility resident shall have the right to at least 45 days’ notice of relocation or termination of residency from the facility unless, for medical reasons, the resident is certified by a physician to require an emergency relocation to a facility providing a more skilled level of care or the resident engages in a pattern of conduct that is harmful or offensive to other residents. In the case of a resident who has been adjudicated mentally incapacitated, the guardian shall be given at least 45 days’ notice of a non-emergency relocation or residency termination. Reasons for relocation shall be set forth in writing. In order for a facility to terminate the residency of an individual without notice as provided herein, the facility shall show good cause in a court of competent jurisdiction.
Every adult family care home resident shall have the right to at least 30 days’ notice of relocation or termination of residency from the home unless, for medical reasons, the resident is certified by a physician to require an emergency relocation to a facility providing a more skilled level of care or the resident engages in a pattern of conduct that is harmful or offensive to other residents. If a resident has been adjudicated mentally incompetent, the resident’s guardian must be given at least 30 days’ notice, except in an emergency, of the relocation of a resident or the termination of a residency. The reasons for relocating a resident must be set forth in writing.
An assisted living facility resident or adult family care home resident may request assistance from the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program by calling toll-free 1-888-831-0404.