The Pierce County Long-Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman program advocates for residents of nursing homes, adult family homes and assisted living facilities. Our team consists of program staff and volunteers from the community. We serve residents through complaint investigation, resolution, and advocacy. Ombudsmen educate residents, staff, families and the community about long-term care issues, resources, resident rights and quality of life in long-term care settings.
We take the safety of residents and volunteers seriously. Currently, volunteers visiting LTC residents in their respective facilities is optional. Many volunteer ombudsmen choose to work remotely, using their phones or computers to take referrals. For those LTC ombudsmen who do feel comfortable visiting in-person, each are provided with PPE, a self-screening tool, and are screened for COVID by the facility.
No one is asked to visit COVID-positive facilities. The program and long-term care facilities work together to ensure that each resident is provided with access to the LTC Ombudsman program either through promotional material, phone-calls, or referrals through staff.
To become a certified LTC Ombudsman, volunteers receive extensive training, education, and guidance. Certified LTC Ombudsmen are then assigned to visit with residents in long-term care. Many ombudsmen mix their assigned facilities, some prefer one skilled nursing home – visiting approximately 60 residents; others prefer a mix of one assisted living and several adult family homes. Ombudsmen can flex their work around their schedule, including evening and weekend. A minimum of 4 hours a week are required to maintain certification. Frequent in-service training is scheduled during regularly held monthly meetings and we encourage ombudsmen to sign up for additional training opportunities in the community.
The Pierce County LTC Ombudsman program works in conjunction with the Advisory Council to improve operations, discuss long-term care issues and network to resolve identified problems. The council assists by reviewing program issues and making recommendations on how the program staff and volunteers should proceed. The council is comprised of members from various service agencies, long-term care providers, community members and a liaison from the Pierce County Aging and Disability Advisory Board. If you feel you are able to serve in this unique advisory capacity, please email [email protected] directly with subject line “Advisory Council”.