Long-term care consumers, family members and friends of long-term care consumers,

We want you to know that the Maine Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program staff is continuing our advocacy services without interruption. Our staff is available to you by telephone and email should you need our assistance in addressing any concerns you may have. We will respond promptly to any of your concerns.

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued the following guidance to nursing homes:

  • Restricting all visitors, effective immediately, with exceptions for compassionate care, such as end-of-life situations;
  • Restricting all volunteers and nonessential health care personnel and other personnel ;
  • Cancelling all group activities and communal dining; and
  • Implementing active screening of residents and health care personnel for fever and respiratory symptoms.

The guidance directs nursing homes to restrict visitation except in certain compassionate cases, like end-of-life. In those cases, visitors will be equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, and the visit will be limited to a specific room only.

Additionally, the Maine CDC has issued this guidance to assisted housing facilities in Maine.

We understand how difficult the restrictions in visitation may be for residents. With this in mind, we are reaching out to long-term care facilities and residents across the state. We are encouraging providers to assure that residents have contact with family and friends through alternate methods including; FaceTime, Skype, email, etc.

We know that recipients of home care services may have concerns as well. We encourage you to contact us if you are experiencing any issues with the services you need.

We are working in collaboration with state agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Licensing and Certification and the Office of Aging and Disability Services to communicate regarding any issues we are observing. We are closely monitoring and following the recommendations of the Maine CDC.

For more information or to stay updated on COVID-19, please see the following links below:

Maine Health Care Association has introduced Maine Notes for Seniors, an initiative to encourage children to send notes, pictures and short videos to residents of long-term care facilities in Maine.

Please call us at (800) 499-0229 or (207) 621-1079 if you have questions or concerns. You may also email us at mltcop@maineombudsman.org or fill out the form on the contact us page.

Sincerely,
Brenda Gallant, Executive Director

Maine Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

An Advocacy Program for Long-Term Care Consumers

The Maine Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is a non-profit agency whose mission is to advocate for quality of life and care for long-term care consumers. Our services are free and confidential. Federal law and Maine law authorize our staff to investigate complaints made by or on behalf of long-term care consumers and to assist consumers in exercising their rights that are guaranteed by law.

Our program serves residents of nursing homes, assisted housing programs including residential care and assisted living, consumers receiving home care services including homemaker, adult day and hospice. We also serve patients in hospitals facing barriers in accessing long-term care services. Our staff is knowledgeable about long-term care services. We can answer questions about services, including where to find services, how services are paid for, what to do if services are denied, terminated or reduced, and how to proceed when problems arise.

The Maine Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program provides advocacy services while maintaining strict confidence. This means that anyone reporting concerns about long-term care services can be assured that all communication with our staff and volunteers will not be disclosed without consent. In addition, when we are contacted with a request for assistance, we will not take action to investigate or resolve a complaint without obtaining consent first. In providing advocacy services we work to support the wishes of the consumer.

The Maine Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is here to help with information, guidance and advocacy. Our services are free and confidential. For more information or assistance contact us at (800) 499-0229 or (207) 621-1079.