What are long-term care ombudsmen?


By Kay Kaylor
PREVIEW Columnist
I advocate for residents at Pine Ridge, a 24-hour extended care home, and BeeHive, an assisted living residence, as the part-time, long-term care ombudsman for Archuleta County. Federal and state laws protect residents to promote quality of care and quality of life.
The term “ombudsman” (om-budz-man) is a Swedish word meaning “one who speaks on behalf of another.” All long-term care ombudsmen, currently 67 full- and part-time staff and volunteers in Colorado, are certified annually with at least 15 hours of continuing education annually. The Region 9 lead ombudsman, Greg Walton, covers specific homes in Montezuma, La Plata and Dolores counties.
The Colorado program is administered by Disability Law Colorado under a contract with the Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Aging and Adult Services.
After initial training, long-term care ombudsmen visit nursing homes, assisted living residences and other adult care homes to help residents, family and staff resolve issues related to care, health, safety or residents’ rights. We attend family and resident council meetings at licensed homes, provide community education and facility training, and simply visit residents to monitor their care.
For further information, please call me at 403-2164 or send an email to ombudsman2@sjbaaa.org.