Ombudsman Program

Ombudsman Program?
Ombudsmen are men and women trained to respond to the problems and needs of residents of nursing facilities and other long-term care facilities.

What do Ombudsmen do?
Ombudsmen work to assure that residents receive the best possible care and that they are treated with respect and dignity. Ombudsmen work with residents, their families, facilities, community organizations and other interested parties to address concerns that affect the lives of residents. Ombudsmen listen, provide information, assist residents in solving problems and help families identify suitable long-term care facilities for loved ones.

What kinds of problems do ombudsmen respond to?
Ombudsmen are interested in any problem, complaint or concern a resident may have. Common problems are with the quality of care, food, finances, activities, visitation, and the ability to exercise their rights as a resident or citizen.

Who should contact an ombudsman?
Anyone who has questions or concerns about the care or treatment a resident is receiving should contact an ombudsman.

How do you contact an ombudsman?
Ombudsmen visit the facility regularly. You can talk to the ombudsman during one of these regular visits or you can contact him or her at:

Cenla Area Agency on Aging
Carolyn Smith
Nursing Home Advocate

A Guide to Residents' Rights
What rights do you have as a nursing home resident? All of the rights every other citizen enjoys, plus additional rights that have to do with your life ina a nursing home. Here is a partial listing of these additional rights:

To receive adequate and appropriate health care and protective and support services
To be free of physical restraints not documented as medically necessary
To have your choice of pharmacy and physician
To withhold payment for physician visitation if the physician did not examine you
To be transferred or discharged only after reasonable notice is given and only for medical reasons, the welfare of other residents, or for non-payment
To be protected from transfer or discharge from a Title XIX certified facitlity solely because the source of payment changes

To exercise your civil and religious liberties
To exercise your rights as a resident and a citizen
To complain and make suggestions without fear of coercion or retaliation
To be treated courteously, fairly and with the fullest measure of dignity
To be free of mental and physical abusee
To take part in various activities of the nursing home
To be free not to perform work
To choose a roommate, when possible
to have your own clothing and possessions
To manage your personal affairs, or if this is delegated to the facility, to receive an accounting report every three months upon request
To retire and rise in accord with reasonable requests
To consume a reasonable amount of alcoholic beverages, with some restrictions
To use tobacco in accord with applicable policies, rules and law
To have ample opportunity to visit with family and friends
To share a room with your spouse, if he/she is a resident of the same nursing home and both consent

To be informed of your rights, the rules and regulations of the nursing home
To receive prompt response to all reasonable requests and inquireies
To have any significant change in your health status reported to you
To be informed of your conditiion and planned medical treatment, and to participate in or refuse that treatment
To examine the results of the most recent survey conducted by state or federal surveeyors of the facility
To be informed of the bed reservation policy for hospitalization
To be told of all services available and all costs, including charges covered or not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the basic per diem rate

To be treated with consideration and respect for your personal privacy
To send and receive unopened mail
To receive visitors in privacy
To have your personal and medical records treated confidentially
To have regular access to private use of a telephone
To refuse to serve as a medical reserarch subject