Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments

OCWCOG supports local and regional members and their communities to develop solutions to common issues, and connect member governments, businesses and individuals

Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments (OCWCOG) is a regional governmental entity created in the mid-1960’s by the local governments within Linn, Benton and Lincoln Counties. OCWCOG supports local and regional members and their communities to develop solutions to common issues, and connect member governments, businesses and individuals with a wide array of resources.

Over the years, OCWCOG has assisted our members and their citizens in a variety of areas; access to a wide variety of human service programs supporting older adults and people with physical disabilities, community development, economic development, and business lending programs. In addition, transportation services, transportation planning, and technology services are also available throughout the region.

Senior and Disability Services Programs:

  • SENIOR and DISABILITY SERVICES (SDS)—primary goal is to help older adults and people with disabilities preserve an independent lifestyle and support their desire to live in community settings rather than institutional care. The SDS program is a comprehensive direct service organization. By integrating a number of essential services, SDS helps individuals and families who need physical, emotional, medical or financial support to sustain a dignified, independent life. SDS programs include:
  • CASE MANAGEMENT—Case managers provide access to state and federally funded programs through assessment, options counseling and developing service plans for seniors and people with disabilities in Linn, Benton and Lincoln Counties.
  • INCOME AND MEDICAL ASSISTANCE —Basic income and medical assistance are provided to qualified individuals through programs such as the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), Food Stamps (SNAP) and Medicaid Long Term Services and Supports.
  • ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES — Each year, staff members assist hundreds of people who experience abuse, neglect, exploitation or unsafe living environments.
  • SENIOR MEALS/HOME DELVERED MEALS — Over 200,000 meals are provided to our citizens living in Linn, Benton and Lincoln Counties each year through eleven meal sites.
  • INFORMATION AND REFERRAL — Staff with our regional Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) with offices in our Albany and Toledo offices, assist over 11,000 callers per year.
  • ADVOCACY — The Senior Services Advisory Council and the Disability Services Advisory Council provides an opportunity to become more involved in the issues and programs serving seniors and people with disabilities in the region.

Veterans Services

  • BENTON COUNTY VETERANS SERVICES — Helps veterans, their dependents, and their survivors apply for benefits from both the U.S. and the State of Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA).

Article provided by:
Oregon Cascade West Council of Government (OCWCOG)
Statewide Resource Directory of services available in Oregon
Albany: 541-967-8630, 800-638-0510
Corvallis: 541-758-1595, 800-508-1698
Toledo: 541-336-2289, 800-282-6194

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About the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program

What is the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program?

Long-Term Care Ombudsmen are advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes, assisted living facilities and similar adult care facilities. They work to resolve problems of individual residents and to bring about changes at the local, state and national levels to improve care. While most residents receive good care in long-term care facilities, far too many are neglected, and other unfortunate incidents of psychological, physical and other kinds of abuse do occur. Thus, thousands of trained volunteer ombudsmen regularly visit long-term care facilities, monitor conditions and care, and provide a voice for those unable to speak for themselves.


Begun in 1972 as a demonstration program, the Ombudsman Program today is established in all states under the Older Americans Act, which is administered by the Administration on Aging (AoA). Local ombudsmen work on behalf of residents in hundreds of communities throughout the country.

Long Term Care Ombudsman Results

In 2005, about 13,800 volunteers, 9,187 of whom were certified to investigate complaints and 1,277 paid ombudsmen served in 572 localities nationwide. Ombudsmen investigated over 300,000 complaints made by 186,000 individuals and provided information on long-term care to another 306,000 people. The most frequent nursing home complaints involved lack of resident care due to inadequate staffing.

Residents’ Rights

Ombudsmen help residents and their families and friends understand and exercise rights that are guaranteed by law, both at the federal level and in many states. Residents have the right to:

  • be treated with respect and dignity;
  • be free from chemical and physical restraints;
  • manage their own finances;
  • voice grievances without fear of retaliation;
  • associate and communicate privately with any person of their choice;
  • send and receive personal mail;
  • have personal and medical records kept confidential;
  • apply for state and federal assistance without discrimination;
  • be fully informed prior to admission of their rights, services available and all charges; and be given advance notice of transfer or discharge.

The Ombudsman Program Assists Older Adults by empowering adults as they age with reliable information and access to the care they need. The program enables individuals who are at high risk of nursing home placement to remain at home. Another aspect of the program is building disease prevention into community living through the use of low-cost, evidence based programs.

The AoA recognizes the importance of making information readily available to consumers, professionals, researchers, and students. Their website provides information for and about older persons, their families, and professionals involved in aging programs and services.

For more information about AoA, please contact: US Dept of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging through their website at www.aoa.gov.

Ombudsman Responsibilities are:

Ombudsman responsibilities outlined in Title VII of the Older Americans Act include:

  • identify, investigate and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents;
  • provide information to residents about longterm care services
  • represent the interests of residents before governmental agencies and seeking administrative, legal and other remedies to protect residents;
  • analyze, comment on and recommend changes in laws and regulations pertaining to the health, safety, welfare and rights of residents;
  • educate and inform consumers and the general public regarding issues and concerns related to long-term care and facilitate public comment on laws, regulations, policies and actions;
  • promote the development of citizen organizations to participate in the program;
  • provide technical support for the development of resident and family councils to protect the well-being and rights of residents, and
  • advocate for changes to improve residents’ quality of life and care.

Source: US Dept of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, www.aoa.gov, www.ltcombudsman.org

Provided by: The Staff at www.RetirementConnection.com
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