We are currently seeking volunteer Ombudsman to be trained and certified by the State to act as advocates for residents in nursing home facilities across Maricopa. If you are interested please contact Fran Atkinson at 602-241-6132 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is an Ombudsman?
Ombudsman is a Swedish word meaning citizen representative. In Arizona, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program provides advocacy and assistance to residents of long-term care facilities.
The primary duty of an Ombudsman is to protect the rights of long-term care residents. Residents of long term care facilities can experience problems or miscommunications related to their quality of care. Many of these individuals are elderly or frail. They may feel alone, and not seek help or not be aware that there is assistance available to them.
But there is help. The Ombudsman Program offers a way for residents and their families, as well as others, to voice their concerns and have their complaints addressed.
The Area Agency on Aging, Region One administers and operates the Ombudsman Program for Maricopa County. Eight professional ombudsmen and 18 volunteers, who have been trained and certified, work to address issues that affect the quality of life of residents in long term care facilities (i.e. nursing homes, assisted living).
Many residents' problems can be resolved by this objective third party intervention. Concerns addressed by the ombudsman may include issues of nutrition, care planning, financial issues or disputes, resident's rights, privacy and confidentiality, visitation rights, or issues related to discharge and transfers.
Ombudsman services are free. For more information, or to inquire about volunteering, call the Area Agency on Aging, Region One at (602) 264-2255, or the 24-hour Senior HELP LINE at (602) 264-HELP (4357), toll-free at (888) 264-2258, or TTY/TDD at (602) 241-6110.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Area Agency on Aging, Region One, must make a reasonable accomadation to allow a person with a disability to take part in a program, service or activity. For example, this means if necessary, the Area Agency on Aging must provide sign language interpreters for people who are deaf, a wheelchair accessible location, or enlarged print materials. It also means that the Area Agency on Aging will take any other reasonable action that allows you to take part in and understand a program or activity, including making reasonable changes to an activity. If you believe that you will not understand or take part in a program or activity because of your disability, please let us know of your disability needs in advance if at all possible. Please contact the Area Agency on Aging, Region One, at (602) 264-2255.