Connecticut’s Office of Long Term Care Ombudsman announced recently that the community ombudsman program will officially begin taking referrals this winter to advocate on behalf of individuals who receive long-term services and support. The office is committed to “enhancing the quality of life and care for Connecticut citizens residing in various community settings [and] plays a crucial role in addressing concerns, advocating for improvements, and ensuring the rights and well-being of those it serves.”
The community ombudsman is an advocate who works to improve the quality of life and care for Connecticut citizens receiving long-term services and residing in community settings, including private homes, residential care homes, and assisted living communities, the office said on its website. All activities undertaken by the ombudsman are performed on behalf of and at the direction of the individual who receives the services and support, ensuring their voices are heard and their rights protected.
In testimony last year in support of the bill adopting the program, the state’s long-term care ombudsman explained that the program was not able to open a case or support a person living in or who transferred to the community. Mairead Painter’s staff would work to find another program or service that could support or assist the individual. The new program “will allow us to support the person receiving [long-term services and support] in the setting of their choosing as they navigate what can be an overwhelming system,” she explained.
The office will, among other services, respond to and investigate complaints; educate individuals and their families about their rights; empower individuals and families to voice their concerns with confidence to those providing care or services; provide information regarding long-term services and supports; advocate for improvements in state and federal laws and regulations related to long-term care; and identify and seek to remedy any gaps or issues in provider, government, or community services.
Services provided by the office are free and strictly confidential.