The Kentucky Long-Term Care Ombudsman program advocates for residents of nursing homes, personal care homes and family care homes 120 counties. Ombudsmen work to resolve problems of individual residents and bring about improvements in care through changes at the local, state and national levels. First launched in 1972 as a demonstration program, the ombudsman program today operates in all states as a provision of the Older Americans Act. The program receives federal, state and local funding and does not charge for services.
State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
Services of the state Long-Term Care Ombudsman program are coordinated through the Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman which is housed at the Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency. The Kentucky Office of the State Ombudsman program oversees 15 district programs affiliated with Area Agencies on Aging and Independent Living.
While most residents receive good care in long-term care facilities, far too many are neglected and suffer psychological, physical and other types of abuse. Kentucky has more than 100 trained volunteer ombudsmen who regularly visit long-term care facilities, monitor conditions and care and provide a voice for those unable to speak for themselves.
The responsibilities of long-term care ombudsmen include:
- Identifying, investigating and resolving complaints made by or on behalf of residents;
- Providing information to residents about long-term care services;
- Representing the interest of residents before governmental agencies and seeking administrative, legal and other remedies to protect residents;
- Analyzing, commenting on and recommending changes in laws and regulations pertaining to the health, safety, welfare and rights of residents;
- Educating and informing consumers and the general public about long-term care issues and concerns and facilitating public comment on laws, regulations, policies and actions;
- Promoting development of citizen organizations to participate in the program;
- Providing technical support to develop resident and family councils that protect the wellbeing and rights of residents; and
- Advocating for changes to improve residents’ quality of life and care.
If problems cannot be resolved with the health care provider, the certified ombudsman serving the county where the facility is located can help you. Fifteen ombudsmen districts across the state serve residents and their families and provide assistance resolving problems and concerns. Please see our local ombudsman listing to locate contact information for the ombudsman in your district.