The mission of the Nevada Long Term Care Ombudsman Program advocates on behalf of residents to improve their quality of life and quality of care in long term care settings. I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with a volunteer from the Ombudsman in my capacity as a Commissioner of the Nevada Commission on Aging and was incredibly impressed with the impact they can make.
The Ombudsman recently released the Fiscal 2013 Annual Report. Although the Program has less than 10 full time staff and 23 volunteers, they try to address the needs of approximately 12,775 residents in 522 long term care facilities throughout Nevada.
The primary complaint regarding skilled nursing facilities relates to dignity and respect concerns. According to the report, 83 percent of the complaints regarding nursing facilities were resolved to the resident’s satisfaction.
One half of the total complaints of the Ombudsman Program related to Group Homes and Assisted Living Facilities, which, compared to skilled nursing facilities, have fewer training requirements for staff.
One of the objectives of the Program is to encourage and promote the implementation of Culture Change initiatives. Culture Change is an important long term care business practice that creates an environment for residents which follows the residents’ routines rather than those of the facilities.