Long-Term Care Ombudsmen
Long-Term Care Ombudsmen are advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes, assisted living facilities and similar adult care facilities. They work to resolve problems of individual residents and to bring about changes at the local, state and national levels that will improve residents’ care and quality of life. The Long Term Care Ombudsmen Program is always seeking volunteers. For information call 1-877-521-3500 and asked to be put in contact with the Regional Ombudsman Supervisor.
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Begun in 1972 as a demonstration program, the Ombudsman Program today exists in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, under the authorization of the Older Americans Act. Each state has an Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, headed by a full-time state ombudsman. Thousands of local certified ombudsman staff and volunteers work in hundreds of communities throughout the country as part of the statewide ombudsman programs, assisting residents and their families and providing a voice for those unable to speak for themselves.
The statewide programs are federally funded under Titles III and VII of the Act and other federal, state and local sources. The AoA-funded National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center, operated by the National Consumers’ Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (or, Consumer Voice), in conjunction with the National Association of States Agencies on Aging United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD), provides training and technical assistance to state and local ombudsmen.
What Concerns Does an Ombudsman Address?
- Violation of residents’ rights or dignity
- Physical, verbal or mental abuse, deprivation of services necessary to maintain residents’ physical and mental health, or unreasonable confinement
- Poor quality of care, including inadequate personal hygiene and slow response to requests for assistance
- Improper transfer or discharge of patient
- Inappropriate use of chemical or physical restraints
- Any resident concern about quality of care or quality of life
Who Can Use an Ombudsman’s Services?
- Residents of any nursing home or board and care facility, including assisted living facilities
- A family member or friend of a nursing home resident
- A nursing home administrator or employee with a concern about a resident at their facility
- Any individual or citizen’s group interested in the welfare of residents
- Individuals and families who are considering long-term care placement
Need help Finding a Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program in your area?