The Indiana Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is a free or no cost program that provides advocacy and related services for customers of long term care services. Long term care settings include nursing facilities, residential care facilities, assisted living facilities, adult foster care homes and county operated residential care facilities.
The mission of the Ombudsman Program is to improve the quality of life and care for residents of long term care facilities. The service is not provided by the Nursing Facility nor the Department of Health but rather is a state and federally funded program. The mission is accomplished through investigation and resolution of individual complaints, education designed to inform and empower customers, system advocacy which includes legislation and public policy activities, promotion of community involvement in long term care, and other activities designed to improve long term care delivery and oversight.
The LTC Ombudsman:
• Receives, investigates, and attempts to resolve problems or complaints affecting residents of Long Term Care facilities.
• Answers questions and provides information and referral about Long Term Care and related services
• Coordinates efforts with other NWICA staff and/or other agencies and organizations concerned with Long Term Care, when appropriate.
Who Can Call The Ombudsman:
Residents or potential residents of long term care facilities
Relatives or friends of long term care residents
Long term care administrators and employees
Representatives of agencies and professional groups
Members of community groups or citizens interested in improving long term care
Rights of Long Term Care Facility Residents:
When a person moves into a long term care facility they retain all their rights as a private citizen, plus, under federal and state law, they gain numerous other rights as a resident of the facility. Some of these rights, in abbreviated form, are listed below:
Right to be informed about and exercise their rights
Right to know about services and financial charges
Right to participate in planning their care and treatment
Right to refuse treatment
Right to confidentiality of records
Right to privacy
Right to control their finances
Right to freedom from abuse, neglect, and exploitation
Right to freedom from chemical and physical restraints
Right to express grievances without fear of retaliation
Rights pertaining to admissions, transfers, and discharges, including the right to appeal
Right to communicate freely with persons of their choice
If you would like to learn more about these services, contact NWICA 2-1-1 or Information and Assistance at 1-800-826-7871.