Alliance of Family Councils of NY

Funding for Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Increased

April 17, 2015. The New York State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program sends trained resident advocates to nursing homes throughout the state to defend residents’ rights and support family members. The New York program is one of the lowest-funded in the country, at the same time that New York has more long-term care nursing home residents than any other state. As a result the Program does not have the resources to send ombudsmen to all the facilities that need them. This leaves thousands of residents without recourse to the assistance they might receive from a dedicated ombudsman who stands up for them when they cannot fight for themselves.

We are very pleased to announce that for the first time in over 10 years the State Budget for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has been increased, by a sum of $500,000. This was accomplished through hard work and persistent advocacy by, among others, the Ombudsman coordinators, the Alliance of New York Family Councils, the New York Statewide Senior Action Council, and the Long-Term Care Community Coalition. Although the amount of increase wasn’t even half of what we asked for, our success is a significant beginning. In the process of advocating for this increase we were able to educate policy makers and build a coalition that is changing the culture in Albany around nursing home services.

The New York City Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is one of the Alliance’s supporting organizations. Many of our members have directly benefited from its services, and we know the difference that a good Ombudsman can make in a nursing home. We hope that family members reading this will become more aware of Ombudsman services and utilize those services when needed. In New York City you may call the Ombudsman Program at (212)962-2720 and find out how to contact your Ombudsman.