The country's Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs were established in each state by the Older Americans Act. The mission of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is to enhance the quality of life, improve the level of care, protect individual rights, and promote the dignity of each senior citizen and/or person with a disability, of any age, housed in a long-term care facility. Long-term care facilities include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other types of care homes. (You can find detailed information about the past performance of every Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country at Nursing Home Compare
Ombudsmen are not employed by the long-term care facilities. West Virginia's State Ombudsman is employed by the Bureau of Senior Services, and the Bureau contracts with Legal Aid of West Virginia to conduct the day-to-day operation of the program via an Ombudsman Supervisor and nine Regional Ombudsmen
The Ombudsman Program will train interested individuals to become certified Ombudsman Volunteers. After an initial 25-hour certification training period, a volunteer will visit the facility to which they are assigned a few hours each month. Learn more about becoming an Ombudsman Volunteer
In conjunction with the Ombudsman Program, the Medicaid Aged and Disabled Waiver Program has published a brochure entitled "How to Report Adult Abuse and Neglect
," which defines different types of abuse, neglect, and emergency situations, and what you can do to report them.