Health and Family Services Cabinet
Volunteer opportunities promoted during Long-term Care Residents’ Rights Week
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2005) -- About 35,000 Kentuckians call the state’s 526 long-term care facilities home. These nursing homes, personal care homes and family care homes provide round-the-clock care to elderly and disabled residents.
This vulnerable population also has Kentucky’s Long-term Care Ombudsman program to help long-term care residents resolve problems, uphold their rights and work for the best possible quality of care and life.
Governor Ernie Fletcher has proclaimed Oct. 2-8 Long-term Care Residents’ Rights Week in Kentucky to focus attention on the often silent and unseen long-term care population of Kentucky and raise awareness of the long-term care ombudsman program and the service opportunities it offers.
Kentucky's Long Term Care Ombudsman Program began in 1978 with passage of the Older American’s Act which required all states to establish a program. Now part of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Ombudsman’s office, the LTCO last year handled more than 8,000 complaints and requests for information.
Each of Kentucky’s 15 Area Development Districts now has a full-time LTCO to serve the interests of long-term care residents in his or her respective multi-county or metropolitan district. In addition to paid ombudsmen, scores of volunteer ombudsmen provide enormous program support and representation on behalf of long-term care residents.
“Residents who make their homes in long-term care facilities don’t forfeit their rights as U.S. citizens,” said CHFS Ombudsman George Myers. “The 1987 Nursing Home Reform law further guarantees residents individual rights including, individualized care, respect, dignity, the right to vote, the right to visitation, the right to privacy, the right to complain and the right to make independent choices. Our Long-term Care Ombudsman program works daily to honor that guarantee and provide a voice for Kentucky’s long-term care residents.”
To contact the state Long-term Care Ombudsman program for information, for referral to an ombudsman in your area or to inquire about volunteer service opportunities with the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program, call toll-free (800) 372-2991.