NYS Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program: Advocating for Residents
What is an Ombudsman?
Long Term Care Ombudsmen are advocates for residents of skilled Nursing and Assisted Living Facilities. They work to resolve problems and improve the care of individual residents, while working to bring about change at the local, state, and national levels to improve care.
Ombudsmen Volunteers are certified by the NY State Office for the Aging. All services are confidential and free of charge.
The Herkimer/Madison/Oneida/Otsego County Ombudsman Program is administered through the Resource Center for Independent Living (RCIL).
The Reform Act of 1987
The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 requires each nursing home to “care for its residents in such a manner and in such an environment as to promote maintenance and enhancement of quality of life for each of the residents.”
• Will listen to residents' concerns, comments, and opinions.
• Will advocate to ensure the highest quality of care for residents of long term care facilities.
• Will mediate conflicts between residents, their families and staff in order to develop collaborative solutions, resolve problems and meet challenges.
• Will investigate complaints and make appropriate referrals.
• Will analyze, comment on and monitor the development and implementation of Federal, State and local laws pertaining to the residents of long term care facilities.
• Will educate residents, family members and staff about resident’s rights and available resources.
Residents have the right to:
• Dignity, respect and a comfortable living environment
• Quality of care and treatment without discrimination
• Freedom of choice to make their own, independent decisions
• The safeguard of your property and money
• Safeguards in admission, transfer and discharge
• Privacy in communications
• Participate in organizations and activities of their choice
• An easy to use and responsive complaint procedure
• Exercise all of their rights without fear of reprisals
Becoming an Ombudsman Volunteer
The NYS Ombudsman Program certifies volunteer ombudsmen after attending a 36-hour training program. After certification, the ombudsman is assigned to a facility to ensure that the rights of the residents are protected.
For more information about the Ombudsman Program anywhere in Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, and Otsego Counties, please contact:
Resource Center for Independent Living (RCIL)
PO Box 210
Utica, NY 13503
toll-free at 1-800-627-2981
New York State Ombudsman Hotline
to speak with a state Ombudsman.
Programs supported by: the Oneida County Office for Aging and Continuing Care, NY State Office for the Aging, Federal Older Americans’ Act funding, and RCIL.
- and Otsego Counties