Ombudsmen: Alternative Dispute Resolution and Long Term Care

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Ombudsmen: Past and Present

Ombudsmen have a very long history in the arena of dispute resolution. Of Swedish origin, this person was appointed to a position of authority to represent the interests of the citizens. Of course, this person is not a lawyer, but a spokesperson. This authoritative position is has evolved over time to become more than a mere representative. Ombudsmen now a significant aspect of alternative dispute resolution.

Ordinarily, most ombudsmen are appointed by the government entities or organizations to monitor any type of grievances from the public against the government. However, ombudsmen can not initiate legal proceedings, but only state that the complainer is warranted in their grievance and may seek prosecution. The profession of ombudsmen has extended out much further than the government. Many corporations with the private sector and public sector utilize ombudsmen in the same manner the government does.

One example of this would be the National Long Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center. This facility supports many of the ombudsman programs in place for residents of nursing homes, assisted living, etc., According to the Older Americans Act, each state is required to have an ombudsman program in place addresses complaints and advocates for improvements in the long term care system.

At my place of employment, I’m not aware of an ombudsman available. One instance in where one would have been especially utilized would be an instance in where the company refused to provide tuition reimbursement to all employees. One of the qualifications to receive tuition reimbursement was that your current position is within top management levels. This seemed to conflict with the purposes of advancing within the company using education. Many in the position of top management have no need to advance within the company as their currently at some of peak levels of the company.

The profession of ombudsman is very good alternative for those seeking a...
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