143B-181.19. Office of Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman; Regional Ombudsman; duties.

(a) An Office of Regional Ombudsman Program shall be established in each of the Area Agencies on Aging, and shall be headed by a designated Regional Ombudsman who shall carry out the functions and duties of the Office. The State Long-Term Care Ombudsman shall designate all Regional Ombudsmen housed within the Area Agency. The Area Agencies on Aging shall provide only personnel management for each Regional Ombudsman in accordance with personnel policies and procedures of the Agency that are consistent with federal and State Ombudsman law and policy. The State Ombudsman shall ensure that the Area Agency does not have personnel policies or practices that conflict with the laws and policies governing the Ombudsman Program.

(b) Pursuant to policies and procedures established by the State Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman, a Regional Ombudsman shall:

(1) Promote community involvement with long-term care facilities and residents of long-term care facilities and serve as a liaison between residents, residents' families, facility personnel, and facility administration;

(2) Receive and attempt to resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents in long-term care facilities;

(3) Collect data about the number and types of complaints handled;

(4) Work with long-term care providers to resolve issues of common concern;

(5) Work with long-term care providers to promote increased community involvement;

(6) Offer assistance to long-term care providers in staff training regarding residents' rights;

(7) Report regularly to the office of State Ombudsman about the data collected and about the activities of the Regional Ombudsman;

(8) Provide training and technical assistance to the community advisory committees; and

(9) Provide information to the general public on long-term care issues and with the authorization of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman conduct systems advocacy activities on behalf of long-term care residents. (1989, c. 403, s. 1; 2015-220, s. 2.)