The Washington State Ombudsman Program has been organized to
utilize highly trained community volunteers to supplement the work of a small
staff. The State of Washington authorizes the State Long Term Care Ombudsman to
delegate her authority (to advocate on behalf of LTC residents) to visiting
ombudsmen who are willing to undergo certification training, and work under the
principles and guidelines set by the LTC Ombudsman Program.
Currently, there are over 500 Certified LTC Ombudsmen in
Washington State. More Ombudsmen are needed to advocate for residents and their
families, as the number of people residing in long term care increases.
And did you know...
The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is an organized nation-wide
effort with programs in every state, federally mandated to provide effective advocacy and
support to residents in a variety of long term care settings.
A Long Term Care Ombudsman, staff or volunteer, is a person
trained, certified, and authorized by the Washington State Ombudsman Program to
advocate for residents in long term care facilities.
Ombudsmen are needed to assist residents and their families in
achieving the highest level of quality of life and quality of care, which is a
right guaranteed to residents by law.
A LTC Ombudsman provides residents with easy access to a personal,
on-site advocate who is mandated to work only on behalf of residents. In
Washington State, a LTC Ombudsman:
Visits their assigned facilities on a weekly basis, spending about 4 hours/week working on behalf of residents;Works to resolve issues of resident care, resident rights, family matters, and finances;Makes it his/her business to get to know the residents, their families and staff;Consults with residents and helps residents get answers to their questions or concerns;Refers potential cases of abuse, neglect, retaliation or coercion to authorities.
For more information see WAC 365-18-080
You must meet the requirements for becoming an Ombudsman and
successfully complete 32 hours of training. Potential volunteers will be asked to complete an application and background check and participate in
a formal interview. No Ombudsman shall be or have been employed by or participated in the management of any long-term care facility, including work as a paid consultant or independent contractor, currently or within the past year. You must meet all of the conflict of interest
criteria as set forth in WAC-365-18-040