Dignity and Wellbeing — Ombudsman program safeguards seniors

Lisa Foster

Catholic Charities of Louisville, a nonprofit organization with a rich history of serving the community, has been at the forefront of providing essential support and advocacy for vulnerable individuals. 

One of its initiatives is the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, a compassionate and dedicated effort to ensure the well-being and quality of life of seniors residing in long-term care facilities.

Known as LTCOP for short, this program a vital component of the aging services offered by Catholic Charities. It is committed to safeguarding the rights, dignity and well-being of seniors living in long-term care, assisted living, personal care home and family home settings.

The primary mission is to advocate for the rights and best interests of residents in long-term care facilities. This advocacy encompasses a wide range of issues, including quality of care, resident rights and overall quality of life. 

Staff and volunteers ensure that seniors receive the respect and care they deserve while promoting an atmosphere of transparency and accountability within these facilities. Key aspects of our role as a long-term care advocate include:

  • Advocacy: Advocate for residents’ rights, ensuring they receive fair and ethical treatment. They serve as a bridge between residents, their families and long-term care facilities to address concerns and resolve disputes.
  • Education and awareness: Educate residents, their families and facility staff about resident rights and provides information about available resources. This empowers individuals to make informed decisions and take an active role in their care.
  • Monitoring and reporting: Conduct regular visits to long-term care facilities, observing conditions and addressing any issues. The program plays a crucial role in identifying and reporting cases of abuse, neglect or substandard care.
  • Quality improvement: By collaborating with long-term care providers, ombudsmen help identify areas for improvement and work to enhance the overall quality of care and life for residents. They provide training to staff to promote patient-centered care.

Trained and certified ombudsmen are the heart of this program. They act as advocates and allies for residents, providing a voice for those who may be unable or hesitant to speak up for themselves. Ombudsmen offer a compassionate ear to residents’ concerns and work diligently to resolve any issues that arise.

The program brings numerous benefits to seniors and their families. For seniors, it provides a trusted advocate who safeguards their rights, ensuring they receive the highest standard of care and quality of life. Families find solace knowing that their loved ones have an advocate, and they can turn to LTCOP for guidance and support during challenging times.

This program exemplifies Catholic Charities’ commitment to serving the community’s most vulnerable members. 

By upholding the principles of respect, dignity, and compassion, this program not only enhances the quality of life for seniors but also sets an example for the entire community. It reminds us that caring for our elders is not just a responsibility but a profound act of love and respect that defines our society’s values.

If you have a loved one in a facility, you can reach the ombudsman by calling 637-9786.

If you are interested in getting involved and possibly becoming a volunteer ombudsman or a “friendly visitor,” reach out to Itzel Gonzalez at 965-8303 or at igonzalez@archlou.org

Lisa Foster is the associate long-term care ombudsman for Catholic Charities of Louisville.

The Record
Written By
The Record
More from The Record
Tree of Remembrance to be lit at Calvary Cemetery Dec. 6
Calvary Cemetery will continue its tradition of lighting its Tree of Remembrance...
Read More
0 replies on “Dignity and Wellbeing — Ombudsman program safeguards seniors”