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May 27, 2009


Colorado - Boulder County , Colorado - Denver Metro , Colorado - Denver North Metro , Colorado - Denver South Metro , Colorado - Northern Colorado

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Not Just an Advocate 

Om-buds-man. Just what in the world is an Ombudsman?! I had the privilege of sitting down with two such individuals the other day who work for the Larimer County Ombudsman program and received first-hand knowledge about this program. I walked away with one solid definition in mind for the term Ombudsman that is simply one who is a trained and experienced SENIOR ADVOCATE. An Ombudsman works as part of a team with the staff of nursing and assisted living homes to protect the civil and human rights of residents. Although an Ombudsman is also defined as a problem solver and mediator, I am left with the strong impression that an Ombudsman would prefer a proactive rather than reactive approach when it comes to protecting the rights of residents. Residents and family members are encouraged to call the local Ombudsman with any questions, big or small, when it comes to resident rights and care. All calls, of course, are kept confidential. A primary goal of an Ombudsman is to address concerns before they could potentially become problems. An Ombudsman is also an EDUCATOR. Starting a new chapter in ones life in a nursing or assisted living residence can be overwhelming. An Ombudsman can tell you many aspects of what you can expect in moving into either type of home, and can also provide information and assistance in choosing the right home to best fit your needs and wishes. Most importantly, you can be educated about what your rights are as a resident living in long-term care. Ombudsmen work within the Department of Human Services in each county. These individuals are dedicated to protecting the rights of residents, and in doing so, are there for anyone who may have questions, comments or concerns relating to a loved one living in or moving to a long-term care establishment.

For more information contact your local Ombudsman office:

Larimer County Ombudsman 970-498-6806
Area Agency on Aging - Weld County Ombudsman 970-353-3800
Boulder County Ombudsman 303-441-1173
Area Agency on Aging - Morgan County Ombudsman 970-867-9409

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