Visiting a nursing home every week may not be on the agenda for most people – especially if they have no loved one residing there. Yet, may state Long Term Care Ombudsman’s Offices rely on volunteers to help them do their jobs. As the Washington Post reports, these volunteers often resolve complaints about nursing homes without having to get state or federal authorities involved.
Former Justice Department lawyer Barbara Corprew once worked on white-collar crime. Now that she is retired, she devotes some of her time to something completely different: she visits nursing homes under the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program.
In fact, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman’s Offices in all 50 states operate under federal funding and many of them rely on volunteers to keep tabs on the many nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In 2015 alone, they investigated 200,000 complaints nationally. 117,000 were resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant.
Volunteers have to complete two days of classroom training, field training, and pass a criminal background check. Once they complete this, they are allowed to enter any nursing home, at any time, and without notice. They can speak to any resident and go anywhere they wish within the facility.
As for Corprew, she has handled complaints involving anything from an out-of-reach or non-working call button to noisy roommates to bathing procedures for patients.
All complaints are kept confidential, even from the patient’s families, unless the patient agrees to allow their identities to be revealed.
If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of neglect or abuse while a patient in a long-term care facility, contact the offices of Schenk Smith. Our experienced attorneys will fight for you. Call us today.