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Ombudsmen advocate for residents

To the editor:

The New York State Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is a resident-centered and resident-directed advocacy program available to anyone residing in a nursing home, adult care facility or family-type home across the state.

The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program sponsored by North Country Center for Independence covers Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties. Ombudsmen advocate for residents to address quality of life and quality of care issues along with resident’s rights concerns.

At this time when visitation to facilities has been restricted, we would like families and residents to know that the Ombudsman Program must also abide by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and New York State Department of Health guidelines for no in-person visitation. With that said, our office remains fully able to accept and receive phone calls regarding any concerns or questions you may have about care. Please call 518-562-1732 to contact us.

Our Certified Ombudsman volunteers will be ready to return to their weekly commitment once the visitation restriction has been lifted.

As you can imagine, residents are in much need of an advocacy program during this unprecedented time. We will be scheduling our next training session when social distancing protocols are lifted, at which time we will be looking for new volunteers to become Ombudsmen and help us advocate on behalf of our long-term care residents.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Amy L. Gehrig

Regional Program Coordinator, Region 7

North Country Center for Independence

Champlain