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Improving the health of older African American men in the Deep South

A nurse developed toolkit for long-term care ombudsmen

Baker N.R.,Jablonski R.A. ,Moss J.A.

Abstract

Federal regulations provide all nursing home resident access to third party advocates, known as ombudsmen. The ombudsmen are provided unrestricted access to this vulnerable population for complaint investigation and protection of their federally mandated resident's rights. States autonomously administer their ombudsman programs, allowing latitude in hiring and training practices. The majority of state programs rely on a combination of paid and volunteer staff, with most staff lacking formal healthcare training. In an attempt to educate long-term care ombudsmen on common geriatric clinical diagnoses, a clinical toolkit was developed and ombudsmen employed by Alabama Department of Senior Services agreed to pilot test the toolkit. Results of the pilot test did not show ombudsmen with less experience would find the toolkit more useful. Results revealed that all ombudsmen regardless of length of tenure found the toolkit useful.