Read Time 5 Minutes
Website United Way of Central Alabama
The mission of the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman is to enhance the quality of life, improve the level of care, protect individual right and promote the dignity of each Alabama citizen who is housed in a long-term care facility. Alabama’s Long-Term Care facilities include nursing, assisted living and specialty Care Assisted Living Facilities, as well as Board and Care. Ombudsman, solve complaints on behalf of long-term care residents using a network of trained and certified ombudsmen. The Ombudsman establishes productive liaisons with senior organizations, advocacy groups and cooperative associations that impact the lives of long-term care residents. The office is mandated by the federal Older Americans Act (42USC3058g) and the state enabling statue Alabama Act 85-657. Oversight for the ombudsman is provided by the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
- Investigate and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of long-term care residents.
- Advocate on behalf of long-term care residents.
- Achieve program objectives by working with involved parties, which could include family members, facility members, facility administration, medical professionals, local and state agencies, guardians and conservators, attorneys, law enforcement and the courts.
- Monitor the development and implementation of federal, state and local laws, regulations, policies and administrative actions that affect long-term care facilities.
- Maintain a working knowledge of legislative and regulatory changes that relate to long-term care, including Medicare, Medicaid, guardianship and long-term care laws and regulation.
- Comment on proposed regulatory changes
- Interpret program laws, regulations, policies and procedures for program volunteer, representatives of state and local agencies, facility staff and community members.
- Interpret federal and state laws and regulations relating to long-term care facility residents.
- Knowledgeable of elder care laws, including the older Americans Act as amended, Title VII.
- Develop and implement a specific operational plan for each county within the Area Agency planning region.
- Develop effective procedures for working collaboratively with other involved agencies within the Area Agency on Aging planning region, such as inter-agency meetings.
- Monitor the conditions in long-term care facilities via ongoing on-site facility visits and reviewing regulatory reports.
- Assess the need for long-term care Ombudsman intervention
- Train and supervise a volunteer Ombudsman representative program.
- Work with long-term care facility administration and local and state agencies to resolve problems.
- Develop and present training for facility staff and community groups.
- Respond to complaints and inquires relating to long-term care facilities or residents.
- Provide consolation and technical assistance to family members, facility staff, guardians, attorneys, and others, including rapid response to urgent problems.
- Act as the resident’s representative/advocate in administrative conferences resulting from a notice of involuntary discharge from a long-term care facility.
- Respond to and make referral of suspected abuse to appropriate agency.
- Maintain appropriate case files and written records of complaints and consultations
- Participation in Community Initiatives’ Continuous Quality Improvement Plan
Preference will be given to those candidates with a work history that demonstrates extensive knowledge and experience with the following:
- Management style that complements an agency that is progressive, proactive, and serves a diverse group of customers
- Effective communication with industry customers, consumers, legislators and staff both orally and in writing
- Investigation and complaint resolution skills
- Interpreting and implementing policy and procedure
- Development and delivery of tracings and training materials
- Experience as an advocate
- Interest in working with the elderly population
- Ability to read/interpret policies, rules, and laws.
- Knowledge of nursing homes and adult home systems
- Experience and complaint investigation, mediation and conflict resolution
- Strong commitment to consumer advocacy and resident rights
- Experience in training and supervision of volunteers
- Good oral, written and organizational skills
- Knowledge of community resources
- Training skills in public speaking
- Computer skills and experience using Microsoft Office, Windows, and Excel
A Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, public Administration, Behavioral or Social Sciences, or a related degree in human services; AND Two years’ experience coordinating or administrating a program related to human services. OR Any combination of experience or education equivalent to five years of experience coordinating or administrating a human service-related program.
Valid Alabama driver’s license, reliable transportation and proof of automobile insurance commensurate with State law. Cell phone, Background checks to include criminal record, drug screen & TB testing. Rotating work schedule to include evening/weekend and on-call. Travel to and from sites as needed and appropriate.
Conflict of Interest
- A person or member of the person’s immediate family has any financial or ownership interest in a long-term care facility or is employed by a long-term care facility.
- A person who has been employed by a long-term care facility within the last two years.
Older American Act statues:
Designation and Conflict of Interest
Section. 712. STATE LONG-TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM.
(5) DESIGNATION OF LOCAL OMBUDSMAN AND REPRESENTATIVES. –
(A) DESIGNATION. –In carrying out the duties of the Office, the Ombudsman may designate an entity as a local Ombudsman entity, and may designate an employee or volunteer to represent the entity.
(C) ELIGIBILITY FOR DESIGNATION. –Entities eligible to be designated as local Ombudsman entities, and individuals eligible to be designated as representative of such entities, shall-
(i)have demonstrated capability to carry out the responsibilities of the Office;
(ii) be free of conflicts of interest and not stand to gain financially through an action or potential action brought on behalf of individuals the Ombudsman serves;
(iii) in the case of the entities, be public or nonprofit private entities; and
(iv) meet such additional requirements as the Ombudsman may specify.
(f)CONFLICT OF INTEREST. –The State agency shall-
(1) ensure that no individual, or member of the immediate family of an individual, involved in the designation of the Ombudsman (whether by appointment or otherwise) or the designation of an entity designated under subsection (a)(5), is subject to a conflict of interest;
(2) ensure that no officer or employee of the office, representative of a local Ombudsman entity, or member of the immediate family of the officer, employee, or representative, is subject to a conflict of interest;
(3) ensure that the Ombudsman-
(A) does not have a direct involvement in the licensing or certification of a long-term care facility or of a provider of a long-term care service;
(B) does not have an ownership or investment interest (represented by equity, debt, or other financial relationship) in a long-term care facility or a long-term care service;
(C) is not employed by, or participating in the management of, a long-term care facility; And
(D) does not receive, or have the right to receive, directly or indirectly, remuneration (in cash or any kind) under a compensation arrangement with an owner or operator of a long-term care facility; and
(4) establish, and specify in writing, mechanisms to identify and remove conflicts of interest referred to in paragraph (1) and (2), and to identify and eliminate the relationships described in subparagraphs (A) through (D) of paragraph (3), including such mechanisms as-
(A) the methods by which the State agency will examine individuals, and immediate family members, to identify the conflicts; and
(B) the actions that the State agency will require the individuals and such family members.
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