030: How Ombudsman Services Can Advocate for You, With Nicole Howell

Aging is a natural part of life, and it is one that certainly deserves respect. All of our elders should be able to thrive throughout their later years. There is no one who believes in this philosophy more than our latest Absolute Trust Talk guest, Nicole Howell.

Nicole is executive director of Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa and Solano Counties and is responsible for ensuring that the 13,000 residents of long-term care in her community have access to the highest level of care and respect, and above all, can live free of abuse and neglect. She joins us in the studio to talk about how the Ombudsman Program came to be and the work that they do to connect with older adults and help them live their best lives.

“Ombudsman,” pronounced “om-buds-man,” means an advocate, a person who investigates an individual’s complaints and ultimately helps settle them. If you or a loved one is struggling to stay connected with the opportunities or activities available or is dealing with neglect and abuse, then this is an episode you will want to tune in to.

Big Three from Episode #030:

  1. Aging is a normal and natural yet distinct phase of life.
  2. It’s okay to be planning for our own aging process and to be mindful of who we are as people and what we are hoping for the future, and that we might not be as we once were.
  3. Bottom line: Make the appropriate plans so your life can be as comfortable as possible when the time comes for the end.

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

3:54 – How do ombudsman services fit into the long-term care landscape?

6:12 – Other than providing ombudsman services, what does Nicole’s organization do?

12:19 – What exactly does “ombudsman” mean?

15:09 – How does Ombudsman get involved in a concern?

19:00 – Nicole discusses what happens when it’s time for a solution to be presented.

20:52 – What happens when a facility is resistant to a particular solution?

25:37 – Nicole shares some of the most common concerns her team works with.

32:40 – Are ombudsman services available across the country?

35:04– Nicole shares her thoughts on the governor of California’s Master Plan on Aging.

Resources/Tools/Links Mentioned in This Episode:


Master Plan on Aging

Check out this episode!

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