LTC Ombudsman Services During COVID-19
COVID-19 has produced very serious challenges for residents in long-term care including feeling of isolation. All long-term care facilities have restricted visitation to everyone except essential health care workers and facility staff. While Ombudsmen cannot enter any facility, they are working hard to ensure that residents know they are special and not forgotten. Long-term Care Ombudsmen resolve complaints, protect rights, and promote access to services for residents before, during and after emergencies such as COVID-19.
In this difficult time, the Council on Aging – Southern California’s Long-Term Care Ombudsmen are available to advocate for residents in several ways. They are making regular check-in calls to facilities asking a variety of questions.
- Is the facility in need of anything to assist in serving the residents?
- Has there been COVID-19 positive staff or residents at the facility?
- Does the facility have adequate staffing, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) food and/or supplies?
- Are residents being given an opportunity to communicate with family, friends or the Ombudsmen via telephone or other methods?
Ombudsmen will soon be able to connect with residents in a more personal manner. The program has developed a Connection Card that is to be mailed to individual residents with a handwritten note attached. The card lists our contact information and lets the resident know Ombudsmen are still available as a resource.
Ombudsmen continue to field telephone calls and receive and investigate allegations of abuse and neglect within long-term care facilities. While Ombudsmen cannot enter any facility, they conduct investigations via telephone by speaking to the resident in question and the appropriate facility staff, family members and others. When needed, the Ombudsmen refer issues to licensing and regulatory agencies, law enforcement, Adult Protective Services and others.
If you or your loved one is in need of services please contact the Council on Aging’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman program at:
For Orange County: 800-300-6222.
For Riverside County: 833-772-6624.
24-Hour CRISIS Line: 800-231-4024