Advocacy

Systems Advocacy & Legislative Advocacy

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In addition to helping individuals to solve problems with the care they receive, ombudsmen also engage in broader “systems advocacy” – making changes in laws, policies and practices that improve care for recipients overall. Ombudsmen engage in systems advocacy in the following ways:

  • Representing the interests of residents before governmental agencies;
  • Seeking administrative and legal remedies to protect the recipient’s rights; and
  • Monitoring the implementation of laws and regulations affecting long-term care recipients and suggesting improvements.

Ombudsmen work in conjunction with consumers, advocates, and other community partners to promote improvements in long-term care. For example, an important focus of Virginia’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program in this regard is to promote culture change, with its emphasis on truly individualized care for long-term care recipients and on making long-term care facilities less institutional and more home-like.