OmbudsmanYou’re in a nursing home. Your roommate has family members visiting at all hours of the day, laughing, shouting, and watching the television at a deafening volume. What do you do?

Your wristwatch has gone missing, possibly stolen, and you can’t see the clock in your room. What can you do?

If only you had someone on your side to listen to your concerns, protect your rights, and advocate for you to solve your problems within the nursing home. The JF&CS Long-Term Care Ombudsman program is that resource.

Ombudsman is a Swedish word from medieval times meaning “a representative of the people.” Today’s long-term care ombudsman visits nursing home residents on a weekly basis and works to resolve their problems. JF&CS, under contract with Springwell, the west suburban Aging Service Access Point, has administered the Ombudsman program since 1983 as part of a network of federally mandated and funded ombudsman programs. A corps of 22 trained JF&CS volunteers visits residents in 30 nursing homes weekly. The service is entirely free for the residents and some of the volunteers have been with the program for more than 20 years. Federal law guarantees the right of access for each local ombudsman to visit consenting residents in every facility, every day of the year.

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