- Aging & Longevity
Ombudsman in Florida-My Story
Ombudsman For The Elderly differ state by state. Some are volunteers and some are paid depending on the state.
Some states have both paid and volunteer, while others are all volunteer.
An Ombudsman is trained to Investigate complaints of elderly people in long term care facilities, adult foster homes, assisted living facilities ect.... and to become an advocate for the individual to assure proper care is taking place.
State run Ombudsman programs are highly respectable programs leading people to believe there is help and hope for neglected elderly individuals.
Do Ombudsman really do what they are trained to do?
Not in my particular case - My father in law was in a nursing facility 3000 miles away from where I live.
I became concerned when he had fallen from his wheelchair for a second time in only 2 weeks.
I became even more concerned when excuses were being made as to why I couldn't talk to him on the phone.
My concern grew at an alarming rate when the nursing facility wouldn't allow At&T to install a phone in my father in laws room.
It wasn't until telecommunication laws were implimented and the home was forced to comply that a phone was finally installed in his room.
A very nice lady at Medicare told me I needed an Ombudsman to go chek on my father in law because something wasn't right.
That was the first time I had heard of an Ombudsman. I called the office and was told a case would be opened.
I felt so much more at ease after reading about ombudsman and all of the good they do on behalf of the eldery... volunteers in a program overseen by the Governors Office. O.k, my father in law will be allright I thought now - I can sleep.
In the meantime I had a family member go in and check on my father in law.
The family member found him totally dehydrated and very ill. She immediatly brought it to the attention of the nurses and I brought it to the attention of the Ombudsmans office.
At that point - this was an Emergency Situation - my father in law needed immediate help!
Well, the ombudsman assigned to the case didn't see it that way, she took another three days before visiting the facility.
She then basically called me a liar and told me this about my father in law ....
"Um - he was sleeping so I didn't want to disturb him but he seems just fine."
The next day my father in law entered ICU in what they call full code , which means... nearly dead.
Um excuse me miss advocate for the elderly - trusted - trained - for the good of the people person but.......he wasn't sleeping and I wasn't lying! He was sick! Really ...Really ...sick!
Had the Ombudsman done what she had been trained to do she would have checked on him alot sooner, noticed what the family member had noticed days earlier.... and sent him to the hospital. Had she done that my father in law may still be alive today.
I'm not really too sure about other Ombudsman programs in other states and how they operate their offices - but this horribly bad experience with one - has really left a bitter taste in my mouth for them all - I would never trust again any ombudsman to care for - or be an advocate for any family member...or friend of mine
© 2009 starme77