About Advocacy, Inc.
The Ombudsman Program is a federal and state mandated program charged with advocating for seniors and disabled individuals living in residential care facilities for the elderly and skilled nursing facilities.
The Patients’ Rights Advocate Program is a state mandated program also charged with rights protection and advocacy for all mental health consumers residing in both counties.
Advocacy, Inc. is an independent non-profit agency serving Santa Cruz and San Benito counties for over 40 years. Our agency is comprised of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and the Patients’ Rights Advocate Program.
Coupling both programs into an independent agency, our mission is to provide the highest level of advocacy and rights protection for the clients we serve while affording the general community with information and assistance concerning long-term care, quality of life/care issues, mental health issues and pre-facility placement procedures and guidelines.
Mandated by federal and state laws, our programs advocate for, and protect and defend the rights of, seniors in long-term care facilities and mental health consumers. We work with, and advocate for, residents living in all of the residential care homes and skilled nursing facilities in Santa Cruz & San Benito Counties, and all mental health consumers living in the community.
We provide information and assistance to families and community members who are embarking into the unfamiliar, and often frightening, worlds of long-term care or the mental health system.
As the only organization that exists with the sole mission of protecting the rights, and advocating for appropriate and quality care for these often forgotten and vulnerable populations, we:
- Inform clients of their rights;
- Receive, investigate and act to resolve complaints of residents in skilled and residential facilities and all community based mental health clients;
- Receive, investigate and cross-report all reported allegations of abuse occurring in facility settings;
- Act as a voice for those patients/residents who are unable to speak for themselves because of prejudice, fear and/or disability;
- Train and consult with medical and mental health professionals on patients’/residents’ rights, quality of care, treatment and quality of life issues;
- Represent involuntarily committed residents of the acute behavioral health unit in administrative due process hearings; monitor facilities to ensure that residents’ rights are being respected, appropriate treatment is provided and that the facilities are in compliance with licensing regulation; and educate the public about patients’/residents’ rights, long-term care and mental health issues.