The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local news

December 24, 2013

Ombudsmen advocates for long-term care facility residents

Ombudsmen are advocates for residents living in long-term care facilities.

This includes nursing homes, residential care and assisted-living facilities. Ombudsmen help to improve the quality of care available to these residents. They assist residents in resolving complaints and problems. These matters are kept confidential unless you give the ombudsman permission to share your concerns.

Under the federal Older Americans Act, every state is required to have an Ombudsman Program that addresses complaints and advocates for improvements in the long-term care system. The Oklahoma Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is administered by the Aging Services Division of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

Julie Torson and David Huff are ombudsman supervisors in northern Oklahoma. As ombudsmen, they advocates for residents in long-term care facilities in Alfalfa, Blaine, Garfield, Grant, Kay, Kingfisher, Major and Noble counties. They recently relocated their office to the Long Term Care Authority of Enid. Their address is 202 W. Broadway, Suite A.

Anyone who needs to talk to an ombudsman should call Torson or Huff at 237-2236 or toll free at (888) 858-9628. You also can contact the State Ombudsman Office at (405) 522-3065. Information about ombudsmen also is available online at www.okdhs.org/pro gramsandservices/aging/ltc/docs/ombud keypersonnel.

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