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Letter: State service educates about care

By the early 1990s, the federal Older Americans

By the early 1990s, the federal Older Americans Act was amended by Congress, requiring all states to have legal counsel for their ombudsman programs. Credit: iStock

The creation of an Elder Abuse Unit by the Nassau County district attorney is a great addition [“Eyes on elder abuse,” News, Jan. 1].

Vulnerable elderly people might face abuse in their own homes. Having prevention, education and resources available in the community is key for their safety, well-being and happiness.

I would like to bring attention to a federally mandated service in existence since the 1970s — the state Long Term Care Ombudservice Program. We advocate for residents of licensed nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Each state has such a service. It gives volunteers extensive training to be state-certified long-term care ombudsmen and women. A volunteer is assigned to a facility and will make weekly visits.

All residents and their families should know that these dedicated advocates are there to educate and empower residents to understand their rights and to help them advocate for quality of care.

Debbie Olson, Mineola

Editor’s note: The writer is the program manager of Ombudservice in Nassau County.