NYS Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
Information from the Mental Health Association of Westchester:
Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) Volunteers
The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) advocates for the residents in Westchester County nursing and adult homes. The program is mandated under the Older
Americans Act. In Westchester County, the Mental Health Association implements the program.
Is It For Me?
If you have a desire to advocate for residents in long-term care facilities, if you can commit to visit an assigned facility four hours weekly and if you are 21 years or older, this might be an opportunity for you. You must take part in a 36-hour training to become a New York State Certified Ombudsman. You are asked to participate in six monthly in-service meetings per year. Having a car is desirable, for it makes it easier to get to the long-term care facilities.
To learn more about the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, call Margaret Hadad, Program Director, at 914-345-3993, extension 234, or contact our Information and Referral Service at 914-345-5900, extension 240 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What We Deliver
Each volunteer must participate in a 36-hour mandated training.
The curriculum includes a, geriatric educator, giving an overview of aging and the impact of institutionalization on both the resident and family.
Department of Health, Medicare and Medicaid representatives give an overview of regulations.
An elder-law attorney speaks about legal and protective services.
Residents’ rights, residents’ care planning, abuse and fraud, as well as how-to-skills in building trust and complaint handling are some other topics covered by staff and other professionals.
After the completion of the training, you will be certified as a New York State Ombudsman and assigned to a facility near where you live. You are expected to visit your facility
weekly to advocate for residents’ rights, dignity and quality care.
Facilities served by the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program are located throughout Westchester County.
An Ombudsman visits the facility according
to his or her own schedule, but must be available to make visits during office hours to access facility staff.
There is no cost to the volunteer except transportation to the facilities and training. Certified ombudsmen are reimbursed for car mileage to and from the long-term care facility at the rate of 36.5 cents per mile.
The program is supervised by two master's level social workers who specialize in aging and counseling. The volunteers range in background and experiences; about 75% are retirees.