The Illinois House of Representatives approved legislation to increase awareness of a free program available to individuals residing in long-term care facilities. Residents receiving long-term may request an ombudsman, a long-term care ombudsman serves as an advocate for an individual’s well-being.
“Most people don’t even know what a long-term care ombudsman is – it’s a person that will advocate on your behalf to make sure your rights, concerns, and needs are being met with confidentiality,” said Rep. Charlie Meier. “An ombudsman has proved vital during times of lockdowns as they help navigate visitation rights for families. My intent of this legislation is to help increase awareness about this important program. This is a free service that is available to everyone living in a long-term care facility. A long-term care ombudsman can really help put a family member at ease, knowing their loved one has an additional advocate working to ensure their issues and concerns are being addressed.”
The legislation (HB 4763) sponsored by State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville), effective upon becoming law, will increase awareness of the free service by requiring long-term care facilities to post information about the Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) prominently on their website.
According to the Illinois Department of Aging website, “The Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) is a resident-directed advocacy program which protects and improves the quality of life for residents in a variety of long-term care settings. Ombudsmen work to resolve problems of individual residents and to bring about changes at the local, state and national levels to improve care. Ombudsmen regularly visit long-term care facilities, monitor conditions and care, and provide a voice for those unable to speak for themselves. Ombudsmen make every reasonable effort to assist, empower, represent and intervene on behalf of the resident. Ombudsman work is directed by the resident.