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Who We Are
The Ventura County Ombudsman Program is founded on the principle that elderly persons unable to care for themselves are entitled to dependable and consistent care. Our mission is to assure the highest quality of life and care possible for our elderly in long term care and home care.

In 1978 Congress amended the Older Americans Act to establish long-term care Ombudsman (a Swedish word that means “advocate”) to serve the frail vulnerable elderly residents in long-term care facilities. This was a much-needed action and a result of the serious problems that surfaced when the nursing home industry exploded following the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

In Ventura County, two members of the National Council of Jewish Women founded the Ombudsman program. In 1988 the founders, Bee Ellisman and Shirley Radding, created Long Term Care Services of Ventura County, Inc., a not-for-profit charitable corporation, to administer the Ombudsman program.

Residents in long-term care facilities are among the most frail and vulnerable in Ventura County. Because many cannot represent themselves, they need assistance to improve their quality of life and care. The Ventura County Ombudsman Program advocates for the highest quality of life and care possible for all our elderly living in long term care facilities.

Although federal mandate requires only one visit per year per long term care facility, the Ventura County program, from inception, established a minimum of once a week visitation in skilled nursing facilities and a minimum of once a month visitation in all residential care facilities. This visitation schedule is still in place and ongoing today even though facilities in Ventura County have increased 900% since 1981. All Ombudsman visitation is unscheduled and unannounced.

The Ombudsman is trained, certified and mandated by federal and state authority to identify, investigate, and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents and to provide services to help in safeguarding their health, safety, welfare and rights. Pre-admission counseling and support group services are also provided as valuable and much needed services.

To ensure quality care the Ombudsman coordinates with licensing and regulatory agencies as well as law enforcement.

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