Lesson learned about getting rid of bed bugs

One of the responsibilities of the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program is to advocate for the rights of individuals residing in licensed Adult Care Facilities.

Adult Care Facilities (ACF) are homes that provide accommodations, supervision and personal care services to predominately mentally disabled citizens. These homes are licensed by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction, and provide 24 hour/7 day a week supervised housing to this special population. They assist residents with activities of daily living; supervise self-administration of medications; and provide dietary assistance. Most of the ACF’s in our area are owned and operated by wonderful, caring individuals who provide an incredible service for our community. However, every now and again, an issue will occur at one of these homes and our office must get involved. One such incident recently occurred.

Our office received a phone call from a home health aide serving a resident at an ACF in our area who informed us the home had become infested with bed bugs and that nothing appeared to be going on to treat the infestation. An Ombudsman immediately met with the owner of the ACF and learned that a new resident to the home inadvertently brought the bed bugs and the owner wanted the new resident to assist with payment of the extermination costs. The Ombudsman worked with area agencies to help pay part of the extermination cost. The owner agreed to pay the remainder of the cost. An exterminator was hired and the bugs were exterminated. However, some clothing and furniture had to be destroyed because the bed bugs had multiplied numerous times. One of the lessons learned while working with this ordeal is that as soon as an owner of property discovers bed bugs they should immediately contact an exterminator to treat the varmints in order to minimize property damage.

The bed bugs were all laid to rest after several weeks of treatment. No one was happy to have lived through the experience, but all were all grateful for the intervention of the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman Column, a production of the Joint Office of Citizens' Complaints, summarizes selected problems that citizens have had with government services, schools and nursing homes in the Dayton area. Contact the Ombudsman by writing to the Beerman Building, 11 W. Monument Avenue, Suite 606, Dayton 45402, or telephone (937) 223-4613, or by electronic mail at ombudsman@dayton-ombudsman.org or like us on Facebook at "Dayton Ombudsman Office."