If I call an Ombudsman, how long does it take for them to respond on average?

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This is with regards to an ALF facility who is not responding to our requests.
In addition, we've had to bring in our own caregivers for support, and they too have been told that my parents are "not the ALF's problem."

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I have seen substance abuse with other external family members. This was NOT the case with my parent.

Your comments on how/what you can do as an Ombudsman is helpful. The comment about family "not being forthcoming" was inaccurate and inappropriate.
Thank you for the additional information on how the Ombudsman process works.
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As an ombudsman, I have to represent the patient. If the patient needs services, in any facility, it has to come with a written order from an MD. That's by law, not by any decision on the facilities part. Family requests just don't cut it when the law says written orders are required. I go and talk to the patient FIRST. Now if the patient won't sign a release, I cannot even talk to family, nor can I identify the patient to staff.
It does sound like this case was about two alcoholics who needed at least level II care, but family was not forthcoming with all the details. Addicts are very clever about finding ways to get stuff and hide bottles. Head Nurses on the other hand, have ways of finding them out.
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By the way, in NJ, the Ombudsman is sort of like APS when a senior is in a facility rather than a private home. Once your parents move from the ALF, there is no advocacy for the Ombudsman to do. Another option is to engage the Dept of Health or whatever entity in your state licenses the ALF.
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Makes you wonder who's doing the "assisting" in "assisted living." We had a very similar situation within our family with a different LO in a different state.
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Thank you both for your reply. I've been holding off on contacting an Ombudsman for a while as I didn't want it to backfire and cause more problems for us. We are moving mom and dad, and in fact the ALF had told me that "perhaps this wasn't the best place for them." I'd already made several request and had conversations about the quality of care to the Director and Head Nurse in the past. . . with little response other than a blank stare. In addition, on time they told me our folks had a drinking problem, (not the case as I've been monitoring cash expenses there just to be sure - and bottles ). Turns out mom was having some strokes and had been complaining to the Nurse about sight problems for some time. The ALF ignored all together.

So, after a number of comments, discussions and including unprofessional comments from a PA who comes in to "mine" the place, we'll be out soon. I just do NOT want to see such poor professionalism go unrecognized by higher powers. If it's even worth doing so.

ALF is a mixed bag from what I've seen since mom and dad moved to a facility. Research is eye opening.

Thank you for all your input.
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Glasshalffull gave a great answer in terms of how to address the ALF. That advice will come in handy if you eventually have to engage an attorney to look into potential legal action.

In terms of the Ombudsman, guess it depends on what state the ALF is located. We've contacted the NJ Ombudsman's office a number of times for our LO who is in a NH to address lack of care. We found that the situation seems to depend on workload and how critically they view the situation with your parents. We have typically gotten a call back within a week and it takes 3 to 4 weeks before they'll drop by "unannounced."

The Ombudsman has been very helpful in reminding the facility how to care for seniors, but lacks teeth in making them stick to the plan. They've been able to document lack of care issues after investigating, which again, will be very helpful if we engage an attorney to seek damages. They'll apparently also passed off our situation to the Dept of Health which has the power to fine. However, this is all within a NH environment, not ALF.

In general, we did not find a lot of satisfaction trying to engage the facility and had to use the state as a hammer to get their attention. Hoping and praying you'll find resolution soonest.
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I don't have experience with the Ombudsman directly, but found the group that you appeal discharge from hospital or facility responded immediately.

My suggestion is to write down all of you concerns and parent needs. Document people you have talked to. Find out who is in charge at the ALF - and send him/her copies of everything. Re-read the admission criteria that you or someone signed on admission. There should be details about the level of care they are supposed to provide.

Are they telling you your parents are not ALF level but NH level? Then they should not have accepted them. Is there a specific patient representative at the ALF or counselor? Have you met with the CARE planning team there? Ask for written specifics of what the plan is and don't sign off until they get with the plan. Is Medicare/Medicaid paying for any part of the ALF?

Start looking for someplace new.
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