The Skilled Nursing Facility, more commonly called Long-Term Care, at Seneca Hospital now has a new advocate for the residents living there.
Patsy “Pat” Roarty completed the Long-Term Care Ombudsman training over a period of approximately three weeks in order to become a certified LTC ombudsman.
That included commuting to Chico each day of the training period.
The training is offered as part of a “PASSAGES” program under the direction of the California State Department of Aging, Office of the State Long-Term Ombudsman.
PASSAGES is a nonprofit resource center that provides a variety of services for seniors (60+) and family caregivers in several northern counties, including Plumas.
Roarty has been volunteering her services in this capacity since April of 2016 and said it has been both rewarding and enlightening.
This responsibility is in addition to the work she has been doing for the last eight years as a counselor for the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program.
Her focus with HICAP is to help seniors wade through the process of signing up for Medicare as well as assisting them with claim denials and appeals.
Roarty’s focus as an ombudsman is quite different in both scope and approach.
First of all, an ombudsman is and advocate for the residents at the LTC.
Roarty’s certification ensures that residents at Seneca Long-Term will have a locally based advocate instead of relying on someone from out of the immediate area.
The advocacy is based on an “expressed wish” in that the ombudsman responds to a complaint, problem or concern expressed by, or on behalf of, a resident in long-term care.
The ombudsman does not work for the facility staff, other agencies or even family members of the resident. They advocate only for the best interest of the resident.
Considering the fact that Roarty is pretty much in a perpetual “on call” situation she is to be commended for her dedication to the facility.