Due to the current economic, political and clinical climate, the need to advocate for quality of care and quality of life for long-term care residents is growing. The best way to accomplish this goal is through education.
Long-term care is a broad term that encompasses a variety of social services and is geared to support the needs of those living with chronic health problems. The long-term care system in the United States is dynamic and policymakers and providers are constantly coming up with ways to integrate new approaches. The percentage of people over age 65 requiring long term care is rapidly growing and it is important that the elderly and their family are aware of their rights and the resources available to them to ensure they are receiving the best care possible.
A valuable resource is the Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly, also known as the long-term care Ombudsman. The Ombudsman advocates to protect the health, safety, welfare and rights of those individuals age 60 and older who are residing in long-term care facilities. The Ombudsman can answer questions, provide information and handle complaints in regard to a resident’s rights. They will investigate these issues and attempt to relieve the concerns and resolve the problem.
In addition to the Ombudsman there are several advocacy groups, on both a state and national level, which seek to protect the rights and benefits of individuals receiving long-term care. These groups include: The Consumer Consortium on Assisted Living, American Health Care Association and The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care. These groups along with the Office of the Ombudsman offer a wealth of knowledge as well as a practical problem solving when it comes to protecting individuals receiving long-term care.
As a Life Care Planning law firm, our top priority is the quality of care that our clients are receiving. Legal and financial concerns of our clients are often secondary to care concerns. Having legal protections in place is certainly imperative, but our first priority is to assist our clients in finding the best care possible and working to make sure they continue to receive a high quality of care that will enhance their quality of life.
When faced with the fact that a loved one requires long-term care, quality of care and quality of life are of the utmost importance, along with the knowledge of the resources available to ensure them.