Recognizing the vulnerability of individuals who—through age, illness, or serious injury—are confined to long-term care facilities, the federal government has mandated each state must provide an independent organization specifically tasked with advocating on behalf of residents, investigating complaints made by or on behalf of a resident, and assisting them in exercising their civil rights.
Operating under Legal Aid of West Virginia, the Ombudsman program fulfills this mandate. Nine staff members are located throughout the state and their primary duties include:
- Identifying, investigating and resolving complaints made by or on behalf of long-term care residents. Issues can range from simple quality-of-life concerns such as poor food service or incompatibility with a roommate, to questions about Medicare and Medicaid billing, up to complaints of patient abuse and neglect.
- Making routine, unannounced visits to long-term care facilities to monitor the general condition and care of residents.
- Representing the interests of residents to government agencies and seeking administrative, legal and other remedies.
All services offered by the Ombudsman are confidential, free, and available to any long-term care resident, their families, friends, or any citizen with a question or concern about a West Virginia long-term care facility.
The West Virginia Ombudsman Advisory Committee provides advice and direction to the staff to improve the quality and efficiency of this vital program serving the most vulnerable West Virginia citizens of any age.
If you have received or know someone who has received services from the West Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, please complete a Satisfaction Survey.