Ombudsman Program

Authorized by state and federal laws, the long-term care Ombudsman program specially trains and certifies volunteers who advocate for quality care in Texas long-term care facilities, such as assisted living or nursing facilities.   Complaints and problems are investigated, negotiated and mediated when people who live in a facility cannot resolve an issue themselves.   As a vital link to the community, volunteers support long-term care facility standards so that residents are provided a dependable and acceptable level of care.

The Ombudsman Program’s services include:

•  Residential Rights Information
•  Volunteer Opportunities
•  Complaint Resolution
•  Assures Quality of Life
•  Monitors Development and Implementation of Laws, Regulations and Policies affecting Long-Term Care Facilities

When you or someone you care for needs long-term care in a facility environment, give our Regional Ombudsman a call.   You can find out about resident’s rights, how to choose a facility, and who serves as the Ombudsman in the facility you choose.

WHEN SHOULD AN OMBUDSMAN BE CALLED?

Residents and family should try to resolve problems and differences with the facility staff whenever possible.  

A certified ombudsman will assess the concerns and recommend possible courses of action.  Often, the ombudsman can resolve the problem without involving other groups or agencies. Sometimes, the resident council or family support group is involved in the resolution.  

When the ombudsman cannot resolve the problem, or when it involves abuse or neglect the complaint is referred to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission or other appropriate agency.   In all situations, the complaint is handled confidentially and information is not released without approval of the resident or legal guardian.

The ombudsman program is also a good source of information about selecting a long-term care facility.   For information regarding facilities in the Permian Basin contact Carolyn Torres – telephone 432.563.1061, ext. 347.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Did you know that 60% of nursing home residents do not have any family or visitors?   You can advocate for nursing home residents who need a voice.   The Area on Aging of the Permian Basin Ombudsman Program is looking for self-motivated and objective individuals to become an Ombudsman volunteer for our 17 county area (Andrews, Borden, Crane, Dawson, Ector, Gaines, Glasscock, Howard, Loving, Martin, Midland, Pecos, Reeves, Terrell, Upton, Ward, Winkler, counties).

The Ombudsman volunteer receives training, supervision and support to identify and resolve residents’ concerns and provide services to assist residents in protecting their health, safety, welfare, and rights.   Volunteers visit a nursing facility in their community at the volunteers’ convenience.  The Ombudsmen volunteer also assist families and staff to obtain the highest quality of care for the resident.

If you are interested in this unique opportunity to impact and improve the lives of nursing home residents within the Permian Basin, contact us.

Volunteer to Advocate for Residents in Long Term Care Facilities!

Call the Area Agency on Aging of the Permian Basin
at (432) 563-1061
or toll free at (800) 491-4636