What is an Ombudsman?
- A trained individual who can help if you have a complaint or problem with any long-term care service
- A source to provide information about your rights as a consumer and assistance in exercising those rights
- An advocate for high standards of quality of care who promotes strict enforcement of those standards
- A promoter of the highest quality of life for care-dependent Pennsylvanians, 60 years of age and older.
- A consumer representative who works within the legislative and rule-making process to improve long-term care services throughout the state
- A person who assists long-term care consumers in pursuing remedies to their problems
- Ombudsman services are confidential and free
Who Uses the Ombudsman?
- Residents of nursing and personal care homes
- Individuals receiving long-term care services in their homes and community
- Families and friends of individuals who live in nursing or personal care homes
- Staff of long-term care facilities
- Government Agencies
What Kind of Issues are Handled?
- Questions about billing and charges, including those covered by Medicare and Medicaid
- Concerns about the quality of care or treatment from a long-term care service provider
- Appeals regarding transfers, discharges, discontinuance, or changes in services
Where are Ombudsman?
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging contracts with 52 Area Agencies on Aging to provide Ombudsman services throughout the Commonwealth.
To contact the nearest Ombudsman nearest you contact one of the Westmoreland County Area Agency on Aging Offices.
Older consumers of Long-Term Care services have basic and special rights under federal and state law. Some of these rights are:
- To know and exercise your Rights
- To know about services and charges
- To be consulted in planning your medical treatment
- To decline medical treatment
- To confidentiality of medical records
- To privacy in treatment and care
- To freedom from abuse, neglect and exploitation
- To freedom from restraints
- To express grievances without fear of retaliation
- Pertaining to admission, transfers and discharges,
- including the right to appeal in certain instances
Contact your local Ombudsman for more information about your rights.