Ombudsman Program

Seniors listening to a seminarAn Ombudsman is a trained individual who helps protect the rights of consumers of long-term care services including those persons residing in nursing homes, personal care boarding homes, or receiving long-term care services.

The Ombudsman is an impartial observer whose duty is to negotiate a resolution. The Ombudsman is not permitted to take sides in any dispute or to advocate for one party over another.

The older person or someone acting on their behalf should first discuss concerns or complaints with the administrator of the nursing home, personal care home or the provider of long-term care services. If this discussion does not produce the desired results, the Ombudsman may be contacted. The Ombudsman will continue to assist both parties until a resolution is reached or the dispute is referred to the appropriate state regulatory authority.

Volunteer Ombudsmen are citizens who are specially trained to find answers and resolve problems people experience in the long-term care system. Volunteer Ombudsmen are representatives of a statewide consumer protection coalition.

Volunteer Ombudsmen frequently visit and take time to listen to concerns on a person-to-person basis. They enable residents to express concerns with greater ease.

Eligibility for Ombudsman Service

  • Resident of a licensed nursing home
  • Resident of the licensed personal care home (assisted living)
  • Receiving long-term care services

Requests may come from the older person or by another concerned individual with the older person's consent.