Posted October 11, 2008

Question:  What is an Ombudsmen?

A Swedish word meaning citizen’s representative, a Long Term Care Ombudsman is an advocate who seeks to resolve complaints on behalf of people who receive long term care services.

Every resident of any long-term care facility in Illinois have rights.  Some of these rights are: 

The right to refuse treatment.
Freedom from chemical and physical restraints.
Right to express grievances without fear of retaliation.
Right to participate in the planning of your care and treatment.

Anyone (current residents, relatives and friends of residents, employees of long term care facilities for example) can all contact their Ombudsman if they think someone’s rights are being violated.

The services are confidential and free.  The Ombudsman with investigates and works to resolve complaints. 

If you know someone in a facility who is not receiving the care that they should you can contact the Ombudsman on their behalf.

The Illinois Department on Aging’s Senior Help Line is 1-800-252-8966. You can also click here for more information on the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program.

The ombudsmen also intercede on behalf of individuals and groups to ensure that they receive the benefits and services to which they are entitled and that their rights guaranteed by law are protected and enforced.

For more information, contact the Department on Aging Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966

e-mail: ilsenior@aging.state.il.us or visit www.state.il.us/aging/1abuselegal/ombuds.htm.

This contact information and an informative poster should be posted in every nursing home in the state.

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