Created by the Wisconsin Legislature in 1981, the Board on Aging and Long Term Care advocates for the interests of the state's long term care consumers, to inform those consumers of their rights, and to educate the public at large about health care systems and long term care.
The Board on Aging and Long Term Care is enabled by Wisconsin Statute at § 16.009, stats. This section incorporates, by reference, the federal Long Term Care Ombudsman Program statutes found in the Older Americans Act at 42 USC 3058(f) and 42 USC 3058(g) and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations at 45 CFR 1321 and 45 CFR 1324. Our agency is given policy direction and oversight by a seven-member citizen board, appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the State Senate under Wisconsin Statute at § 15.105(10), stats. Operational control is vested in an Executive Director / State Long Term Care Ombudsman.
To carry out our mandate, the Board operates three distinct programs:
The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is Wisconsin’s version of a federally mandated program that provides trained, professional advocates who represent the interests of and speak for residents of long term care facilities. Ombudsmen respond to complaints lodged by or on behalf of these residents and advocate to protect their rights and welfare. Ombudsmen also serve as consultants and educators to providers and citizens on any number of specific issues, including resident rights; preventing abuse; and the state’s managed long term care programs, Family Care and IRIS. The Ombudsman program serves individuals age 60 and older.
The Volunteer Ombudsman Program has been in existence since 1994. The Volunteer Ombudsman Program recruits, screens, trains and supervises volunteers who make unannounced weekly visits to nursing homes. Volunteer Ombudsmen visits strengthen the advocacy services provided by Regional Ombudsmen for residents living in nursing homes.
The Medigap Helpline Program is an insurance counseling service that provides information and counseling to callers who have questions relating to Medicare programs, Medicare Supplemental insurance, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, Medical Assistance programs, employer sponsored group health plans, and transitioning from the Marketplace coverage into Medicare.
The mission of the Board on Aging and Long Term Care is and always has been consumer focused. It is our purpose to advocate for the interests of aging consumers of long term care.
The Board on Aging and Long Term Care has adopted the following principles:
The mission of the Board on Aging and Long Term Care is to advocate for the interests of the state's long term care consumers, to inform those consumers of their rights, and to educate the public at large about health care systems and long term care.
The Board on Aging and Long Term Care is the premier resource for information and advocacy. The Board will increase its visibility and accessibility by expanding its role and recognition as an advocacy leader.
The Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long Term Care subscribes to and defends the values of: respect and dignity for the individual; protection of the right of the individual to be free from threats to health, safety and quality of life; fairness and transparency; and open, clear and consistent communication. Our staff and volunteers provide services consistent with the spirit and intent of these values.
The Board on Aging and Long Term Care and its programs are charged by Wisconsin Law to work to protect the interests of citizens of this state who are aged 60 or over and who reside in long term care facilities or who are consumers of managed care (Family Care, PACE, Partnership) or IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct) Programs through our Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. Our Volunteer Ombudsman Program serves individuals age 60 or over who are residents of nursing homes in Wisconsin. Our Medigap Helpline and Prescription Drug Helpline provides free confidential counseling services for all Medicare beneficiaries, including disabled individuals and those age 65 and over.
Guiding You to Aging Resources
No matter where you live in the Badger state, the Board on Aging and Long Term Care exists to help you understand your options regarding aging, long term care, Medicare, and prescription drug coverage.