The Vermont Long-Term Care Ombudsman Project protects the health, welfare and rights of people who live in long-term care facilities including nursing homes, residential care homes and assisted living residences. We also help people who receive long-term care services in their homes through Choices for Care (CFC).
Our presence helps to improve the quality of life for those who need long-term care services and makes the long-term care system better for those who need it. We resolve individual complaints, educate people about their rights, and advocate for administrative and legislative changes that protect consumer rights and allow seniors to make decisions about where and how they will live.
An active group of certified volunteers provides valuable support to the work of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Project. Learn more about our Volunteer Program.
John has been in a nursing home since he suffered a stroke several years ago. While he has recovered some mobility, his balance is not good and his strength varies from day to day. Together, these issues make him a serious fall risk.
An outgoing, independent person by nature, John likes to visit with other residents, and he wants to use the toilet in his room instead of a diaper or bedpan. His daughter, Ann, called the Long Term Care Ombudsman’s office because John complained on several occasions that the nursing home aides wouldn’t help him get out of bed. He would ring his call bell, the aides would come to his room and reset the bell, but they wouldn’t help him get out of bed.
Our ombudsman talked to the director of nursing to make her aware of the problem and to reinforce the fact that John was a serious fall risk. The director instructed the aides to help Ann’s father get out of bed when he rang his bell. With this issue resolved, Ann noticed a visible difference in her dad’s emotional well-being.
Name(s) and some details have been changed to protect anonymity and confidentiality.
Executive Director of Vermont Legal Aid Eric Avildsen said the report confirms what he and other providers see on a daily basis. “Our legal system depends on lawyers and others to help people in need navigate difficult situations. Whether it is an employment dispute, an eviction notice, a claim for federal services, or child support proceeding, these are critical issues, and when we can provide assistance, it makes a huge difference.”