As Lancaster County and much of the Commonwealth continues to remain under the stay at home order, the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Ombudsman has developed a new resource to assist residents and their families navigate this challenging time.

The Ombudsman Office is inviting any family member or friend of a long-term care resident to join them in a Virtual Family Council.  These free online educational meetings will be hosted via ZOOM.  The goal of these meetings is to support loved ones and inform them about issues relating to residents and the long-term care system.  During each session, the Office will provide updates regarding the COVID-19 situation and they will share what resources are available.  Conversation and questions will be welcome following the informational segment of the meeting and will be moderated by representatives of the Ombudsman Office.

To obtain connection information, email jarotz@pa.gov and indicate Virtual Family Council in the subject line or visit their Facebook page: PA Long Term Care Virtual Family Council.The currently scheduled meeting dates are May 19; June 16 & 30; July 14 & 28. All meeting times will be 4:30 to 5:30 pm.

Guidelines for the council meetings can be found here (https://www.bctv.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Virtual-Family-Council-Guidelines.pdf).

Pennsylvania’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program works to resolve complaints and issues on behalf of individuals residing in long-term care settings, such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and personal care homes. Ombudsmen empower residents by educating them on their rights under federal and state law and advocate for those who are unable to advocate for themselves, to ensure that they receive the highest quality of care.  They also work to bring about change that improves care at the local, state, and national levels.