Ombudsmen work to resolve problems related to the health, safety, welfare, and rights of individuals who live in long-term care (LTC) facilities, such as nursing homes, board and care and assisted living facilities, and other residential care communities.
Learn more about the ombudsman program and related assistance at the resources below.
The role of long-term care ombudsmen in compassionate care access issues during the COVID-19 outbreak
The COVID-19 public health emergency has been very difficult on residents of long-term care facilities. Not only are residents at particular risk of illness and death from the coronavirus itself, they may also be experiencing loneliness and isolation due to the restrictions on visitation in the facilities.
The Sixth Amended Director's Order to Limit Access to Ohio's Nursing Homes and Similar Facilities, with Exceptions outlines opportunities for residents and their families and loved ones to visit safely when possible. Even if facilities are restricting visits due to outbreaks or widespread community spread, compassionate care visits are still possible. Examples of compassionate care situations include, but are not limited to:
A resident who was living with their family before recently being admitted to a home, is struggling with the change in environment and lack of physical family support.
A resident who is grieving after a friend of family member recently passed away.
A resident who needs cueing and encouragement with eating or drinking, previously provided by family or caregiver(s), is experiencing weight loss or dehydration.
A resident, who used to talk and interact with others, is experiencing emotional distress, seldom speaking, or crying more frequently (when the resident had rarely cried in the past).
Long-Term Care Ombudsmen stand ready to assist residents and their loved ones navigate the visitation opportunities in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The order requires homes to work with residents, families, caregivers, resident representatives, clinicians, and the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman program to identify the need, length, and frequency for compassionate care visits.