Before I used to think when a family has a problem or a complaint is the only time wherein we turn to a long-term care ombudsman. Typically, this is the type of call that an ombudsman answers to. Nonetheless, they also have an important role in educating the public and sharing information. Especially with how families should take into consideration a nursing home, in-home care or assist living for their loved ones.
In every state, there is a long-term care ombudsman. According to the Older Americans Act of 1965, positions for ombudsmen are funded with a federal grant. In this article, I will be discussing how an ombudsman can help you.
1. Go online and visit a government website. You will be able to find inspections for nursing homes to help you seek the appropriate one for your parent. In addition, your state long-term care ombudsman can also help you even further. They can provide you with actual copies of surveys; help explain citations, as well as share feedback they have received such as the quality of care and available food.
2. Keep in mind to not rely solely on the government’s quarterly five-star rating system. The performance of nursing homes can vary rapidly because of factors such as having a new owner, a new director of nursing or new administrator. Your state long-term care ombudsman will be able to provide you with the updated data and more options and recommendations.
3. If your option for your parent is assisted living, your state long-term care ombudsman can help you understand the expenses. There are some residences that offer an all-inclusive amount while there are some that offers a base rate and charges additional for care. Your ombudsman will help you ask the right questions and think in the long term.
4. Your state long-term care ombudsman can help you with Veterans Administration (VA). This is one of the most underused resources that military veterans and their spouses should benefit from. An ombudsman will help you through the whole application process.
5. If your aging parent prefers to stay at home instead then he or she will be needing in-home care. If you are lucky, your state may have a long-term care bill that gives the elderly a new option just like in the state of Tennessee. If your parent is qualified for Medicaid-paid nursing home care, The Tennessee Medicaid Waiver will be able to help with in-home care. With the help of an ombudsman, they can refer you and your family to other credible resources like a private attorney in order for you to set up a trust fund for your parent to be able to be eligible for Medicaid.
What is the lesson here? Go to your state’s long-term care ombudsman immediately. Do not wait until there is already a problem. Contact them right away. The state ombudsman will be able to help you or refer you to a local ombudsman directly.