The first Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program was established in 1972, shortly after in 1978 the Older Americans Act (OAA) was put in place. The act required all states to establish an Ombudsman program that was a local community program utilizing volunteers.
So what is a long-term ombudsman?
A long-term care ombudsman is an advocate for residents in elder care facilities, board and care homes and assisted living facilities. All 50 states have ombudsman offices operating under federal law to help families and residents in elder care facilities. There are over 8,155 volunteers certified to help handle complaints throughout the United States.
An ombudsman is trained to help resolve problems and assist patients or families when filing complaints. All matters are kept confidential unless specified otherwise.
A long-term care ombudsman can be beneficial in many ways, including:
- Resolve complaints made for or by residents of long-term care facilities.
- Educate consumers and long-term care providers about resident’s rights and good care practices.
- Promote community involvement.
- Provides public information on nursing homes and other long-term care facilities and services, residents rights and legislative and policy issues.
In North Carolina there are currently 17 offices with long-term care ombudsman support throughout the state, all of the offices are in area agencies on Aging. Below is the most up to date list for the state of North Carolina.
Area Agency on Aging
|Regional Ombudsmen||Counties Served|
|Centralina Council of Governments
9815 David Taylor Drive
Charlotte, NC 28262
Fax: (704) 347-4710
|Piedmont Triad Regional
1398 Carrollton Crossing Drive
Kernersville, N.C. 27284
Triangle J Council of Governments
Durham, N.C. 27703
Toll Free: 1-800-310-9777
Fax: (919) 998-8101
|Kerr Tar Regional Council of Governments
P.O. Box 709
Henderson, N.C. 27536
Toll Free: 1-866-506-6223(252) 436-2050
Fax: (252) 436-2055
|Area Agency on Aging||Regional Ombudsmen||Counties Served|
Upper Coastal Plains Council of Governments
P.O. Box 9
Fax: (252) 234-5971
Mid-Carolina Council of Governments
and ext. 27
|Lumber River Council of Governments
30 CJ Walker RoadPembroke, N.C. 28358Toll Free: 1-866-582-4251
(910) 775-9761Fax: (910) 521-7556
Cape Fear Council of Governments
Toll Free: 1-800-218-6575
Fax: (910) 395-2684
Eastern Carolina Council
Toll Free: 1-800-824-4648
and ext. 3007
Making the decision to put a loved one in a nursing home or long-term care facility is never easy. It is important that both you and your relative feel that you are choosing a facility that will have their comfort, safety and best interests at heart.
If you think a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse or neglect, which has caused serious injury, financial loss or even death, call Henson Fuerst for help.
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