The Ombudsman program uses specially trained and certified volunteers (Ombudsmen) to provide advocacy services to residents of long-term care facilities working as a liaison between residents, their families, and/or the facility staff.
- Provides information to residents, staff, and family members about resident’s rights, nursing facility rules and regulation, and helps identify resources in or out of the facility.
- Identifies, investigates, and resolves complaints by or on behalf of residents.
- Supports residents, families, and staff to resolve any problems or differences with the facility staff by defining concerns, explaining rights and identifying possible courses of action.
- Provides information about selecting a long-term care facility, eligibility criteria, and other services for older persons.
When should you contact an Ombudsman?
Residents and family should attempt to resolve issues directly with the facility staff whenever possible. If the situation has not been resolved, or if an attempt has been unsuccessful, the resident or family is encouraged to call an ombudsman for guidance.
The Ombudsman will assess the issue and recommend possible courses of action. Often the problem can be resolved without involving other groups or agencies. Sometimes the care planning process, resident council or family council is involved in the resolution.
If the Ombudsman cannot resolve the problem, or when it involves serious abuse or neglect, the complaint is referred to either the Texas Department of Aging and Disability –Regulatory Services and/or Adult Protective Services.
In all situations, the complaint is handled confidentially and information is not released without approval from the resident or legal guardian.
To contact an Ombudsman for facilities in Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, McMullen, Nueces, San Patricio and Refugio counties, call (361)883-3935 or 1-800-817-5743.
Texas Attorney General
1-800-252-8011 (Medicaid Fraud Control)
Texas Department of Aging and Disability – Regulatory Services
1-800-458-9858 (Complaint Investigations)
1-800-252-8016 (Consumer Services)
Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services
1-800-252-5400 (Adult Abuse, Neglect, and Financial Exploitation in the community)