Iowa State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Jeanne Yordi said new cases jumped 163% this year (2,336 new complaints in 2008 compared to 889 cases in 2007). She attributed the increase to heightened awareness rather than more problems at facilities serving elderly Iowans. "I think it's consumer education. I think people are more aware that there is help out there, that they don't have to accept the status quo and that they can call for assistance," she said. Although Iowa has fewer long term care Ombuds than the recommended standard, its resolution rate was well above the national average. (Cedar Rapids Gazette.)
Related posts: California Decimates Long Term Care Ombuds Program; Proactive Ombudsing at NIU; Report to the President on Federal ADR Programs
Although this news item is about a Classical Ombuds program, it is more evidence of the pent-up demand for alternative dispute resolution. If you build it, they will come.