Legal Aid trains nursing home ombudsmen

Maryland Legal Aid’s Long Term Care Legal Assistance Project gave a three-hour presentation October 22 to new state long-term care ombudsmen at a four-day training in Baltimore. The ombudsmen are advocates for nursing home residents across the state.

“We have an informal partnership with them,” explained Harbour Partesotti, supervising attorney of the statewide Legal Aid project and a presenter at the training. “Some cases are better resolved by ombudsmen because they have unique relationships with the facilities. We refer those cases to them. They then refer cases to us when they hit a wall and need a legal remedy. We support each other in carrying out our shared goal of ensuring nursing home residents’ rights throughout the State.”

The training, conducted by Partesotti and LTCAP staff attorney Anne Haffner, focused on residents’ rights (both state and federal), admissions contracts, abuse and neglect reporting requirements and involuntary discharge (“a very important topic with potentially dire consequences for this vulnerable population,” Partesotti noted).

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