In a society of an aging populace, care for the elderly and prevention of abuse continues to grow increasingly important.
New Mexico has introduced a potentially helpful tool in the advocation for the rights of the elderly: a long-term care ombudsman.
What does an ombudsman do?
The New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department discusses the long-term care ombudsman. This Swedish word, meaning “citizen’s representative”, highlights the purpose of the role well. An ombudsman encourages other people to respect and uphold a person’s rights while protecting those rights at the same time.
All states must have an ombudsman program. The Aging and Long-Term Services Department in New Mexico oversees its Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP).
The volunteers and coordinators who take part in this program visit residents in their long-term care facilities. This can include nursing homes, assisted living homes and more. They give residents a means to have any complaints addressed and to voice the concerns they may have.
The program works with multiple parties in order to resolve their problems and improve the life quality and care quality for the residents inhabiting these facilities.
Looking into claims of neglect and abuse
On top of that, an ombudsman may end up contacted with claims for abuse or neglect within the nursing home. In that specific context, then an ombudsman can work with legal help in order to pursue the possibility of a court case and financial compensation.
It is important to take quick action and document potential cases of abuse or neglect quickly. The faster one acts, the more likely they are to gain a favorable ruling when taking the case to court.