Ombudsman comes from a Swedish word which means “One who
speaks on behalf of another.”
THE KEY TO THE SUCCESS
Ombudsman volunteers are individuals who help residents
in the long-term care setting. If a resident has a concern, the
Ombudsman is an important resource in helping to resolve it.
Often the volunteer acts as a buffer between the resident and the facility
staff. The purpose is to encourage the resident to become
empowered in expressing his or her concerns.
The Ombudsman volunteers are also a vital source of
information and assistance to individuals in nursing facilities. Before
being assigned to a facility, volunteers receive 18 hours of training
in problem solving, complaint coding, reporting and enhancement of
communication and mediation skills. Ombudsman volunteers
establish relationships with residents that build a trusting rapport
and a sense of empowerment for the resident.
WHAT IF A
FACILITY DOES NOT HAVE A VOLUNTEER?
If the facility does not have a volunteer Local
Ombudsman, the residents and family members may contact the NWMOAAA
Long-Term Care Ombudsman program directly by calling 1-888-844-5626 or
call the Ombudsman Manager at 816-749-0034. Everyone is encouraged to share
concerns they may have about issues that occur in the long-term care
setting. All communication between residents and the Ombudsman staff
HOW DO I CHOOSE
A LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY FOR MY LOVED ONE?
The Regional Ombudsman Coordinator and staff can provide
information about facilities from the most recent survey by the
Department of Health and Senior Services Section for Long-Term
Care. If you have access to the internet you may also acquire
information about facilities from www.medicare.gov and selecting
"Compare Nursing Homes in Your Area."
regularly with residents.
relationship of trust with residents.
residents to speak for themselves.
Seek to resolve
problems within a facility.
ombudsman volunteers and staff of long-term care facilities benefit
significantly from Missouri's Ombudsman Program. Facilities are
required to participate in this program.
emphasis is on resident rights, rather than facility compliance to
other regulations. When a problem arises, the ombudsman
serves as a mediator. Assuming a neutral role allows an ombudsman
to advocate for residents, family members or staff of the
facility. The ombudsman becomes a relied-upon source of
information and assistance.
complaints through involvement of all concerned parties.
INFORM residents of
rights that are established by law.
PROVIDE information on
residents' needs/concerns to the community.
HOW DO I BECOME
AN OMBUDSMAN VOLUNTEER?
Call the Regional Ombudsman Program at the Area Agency
on Aging toll free at 1-888-844-5626, 660-726-3800 or directly at
816-749-0034. We will mail a simple application for you to fill
out and return. A criminal background check is required for all
volunteers. The Ombudsman staff will then schedule an
interview. The Ombudsman Program is always in need of
individuals who are willing to give of their time and talents for the
well-being of our older citizens.
at least 21 years of age
and enjoy interacting with older people
good listening and communication skills
objective, sensitive, diplomatic and reliable