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The Miami Herald

Long-term care volunteers save Fla. $1.8 million

The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- An annual report shows volunteers saved Florida $1.8 million by inspecting nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the budget year that ended June 30.

The report on Monday said the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program handled a record 9,098 complaints with only 376 volunteers - 41 fewer than the prior year.

Program director Brian Lee said some volunteers left due to the faltering economy.

The report recommends spending more to recruit and train ombudsmen and exempting personal information from the public records law to attract more volunteers.

Other recommendations include increasing the personal needs allowance for nursing home patients and requiring heating and air conditioning systems at assisted living facilities.