When the coronavirus pandemic hit, we all felt isolated and lonely. If you had a loved one living in personal care or nursing home, this was magnified. Communications with them were limited to window visits and scheduled calls or through electronic technology. However, concerns regarding care, health, medical visits, food, activities, and therapies were still issues even during the pandemic.
Who can help the residents? Who can the families talk to? The Ombudsman, who is an advocate for people who live in personal care homes and nursing homes may do so. This organization works with residents and finds out about their life and care at the facility. They encourage residents to talk to the right staff person, at the facility, to discuss their problem and resolve the issue. They support the resident and sometimes act on behalf of the resident to represent them in a discussion with staff in order to resolve the resident’s complaint. They educate residents and staff about the Rights residents have living in this home. They can help residents if they receive a notice of transfer or discharge from the facility. They can talk with families and friends of residents to help them understand facility operations, solve problems, provide direction and other resources to assist a loved one to receive good care and be treated with dignity and respect.
Whether it’s during a pandemic or not, they are always available to help. The Berks County Ombudsmen can be contacted at the Berks County Area Agency on Aging 610-478-6500.