Have a complaint, but don't know where to turn? Contact an Ombudsman at NACOLG.
What Does an Ombudsman do?
An ombudsman's job is to protect the rights of residents and ensure that residents receive fair treatment and quality care. More specifically, they:
- Investigate and resolves complaints
- Visits local facilities to evaluate conditions
- Ensures that residents receive the legal, financial, social, rehabilitative and other services to which they are entitled
- Act as a mediator between residents, families and facility staff
- Educates residents, families and staff regarding residents' rights
- Provide public information
- Help to establish resident/family councils
Who can use the Ombudsman?
Anyone can solicit the help of an Ombudsman, including long-term care residents, their families or friends and even the facility employees.
How do I file a complaint or voice a concern?
You may file a complaint in writing, by way of a phone call or in person at the Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments office, Department of Aging Services, 103 Student Drive, Muscle Shoals, AL 35661 (located on the Northwest-Shoals Community College campus).
Can I make my complaint anonymously?
You don't have to use your name, however, it's better if we are able to contact you for more information. All information is confidential unless complaints or resident grants permission to use it.
All questions or concerns are important to the Ombudsman. Complaints can pertain to the facility, their employees, providers, public or private agencies, guardians or anyone who may be interfering with the rights, health, safety or welfare of a resident. Contact an Ombudsman immediately if your loved one has mentioned any of the following:
- Violation of any resident's rights or dignity
- Physical, verbal or mental abuse
- Deprivation of services necessary to maintain resident's physical or mental health or well-being
- Poor quality care, inadequate personal hygiene or slow response to the requests for assistance
- Improper transfer, discharge or inappropriate use of chemical restraints
- Any concern about quality care
A Long-Term Care Ombudsman can help:
- Provide information about how to find a nursing home, board & care home or assisted living facility
- Explain how to get quality care for your loved one
- Assist you with complaints in a confidential manner while advocating for improvements in the long term care system