Who They Are and What They Do…
An Ombudsman is a person who investigates complaints and acts as an independent mediator for fair settlement between aggrieved parties (usually residents and families) and the organization (usually Assisted Livings or Adult Family Homes).
- Sometimes can be an unpaid volunteer
- Supported by Elder Affairs office or Area Agency on Aging
- Used in many forms of government and in many organizations all over the world to act as an unbiased mediator
- In Assisted Living, can represent both sides to one another and should be accepting of communication directly from residents/families and the ALF *
- In some states they act only as an advocate for seniors
- When an Ombudsman enters a community, it is usually because they have been contacted about a concern, they are following up on a previous visit, or they are completing a periodic visit. It is important that the whole team knows the Ombudsman and any meeting is discussed with the Executive Director.
- An Ombudsman cannot directly recommend a specific ALF to a family with a concern, but they are aware of the needs of local seniors in several facilities in the area and have a direct line to local agencies on aging.