The Older Americans Act (42-USC 3001 et seq.) mandates that a state agency serve as the advocate on issues affecting older persons. The State Long-Term Care Ombudsman assists in the development of services and programs for the benefit of nursing home residents. K.S.A. 75-5916 through 75-5922, enacted in 1980, establishes the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. The Omnibus reconciliation Act of 1987 and amendments thereto have further defined the role of the Ombudsman. Public Law 160-175, the 1987 Amendments of the Older American Act, authorized Title III Part G grants to states to prevent abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older individuals. The 1987 amendments also provide that adequate legal counsel is available to the Ombudsman office and that legal representation is provided to representatives of the office to ensure that the ombudsman has the ability to pursue administrative, legal and other appropriate remedies on behalf of facility residents. The Older Americans Act of 1998 Amendments funded the program under Title VII, Section 702(b).
In FY 1998, the Kansas legislature amended K.S.A. 75-7301 and moved the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman to the Department of Administration as an independent state sub-agency.
A long-term care ombudsman is a resident advocate and negotiator, problem solver, educator, objective investigator and collaborator.
An ombudsman helps long-term care residents obtain the highest quality of life, helps long-term care staff meet the needs and concerns of those who reside in their facility and receives and investigates complaints with a goal of achieving an equitable solution.