Educating, empowering and advocating for long-term care residents.
The Ombudsman Program is an effective advocate and resource for older adults and persons with disabilities who live in nursing homes, assisted living and other licensed adult care homes. Ombudsmen help residents understand and exercise their rights to good care in an environment that promotes and protects their dignity and quality of life.
The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (or LTCOP) is a federal advocacy program dedicated to protecting people living in long term care facilities. In New York State, the Office for the Aging operates LTCOP through its Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman.
What is an Ombudsman?
Ombudsman (om’ budz’ man) noun A person who investigates complaints, reports findings, and mediates fair settlements, especially between an individual consumer and an institution or organization. [Swedish for ‘citizen advocate’]
A certified Long Term Care Ombudsman is a professionally trained and certified advocate who resolves issues with long term care facilities on behalf of residents and their families. In New York State there is a State Ombudsman and 15 Regional Ombudsman Coordinators. They support and train the more than 1,000 certified Ombudsmen who are the first line of contact with residents and long term care facilities.
Certified Ombudsmen include former teachers, businessmen, and health care workers, they are also homemakers, attorneys, and others who care about the well-being of people living in nursing homes and adult care facilities.
Who Is My Ombudsman
In New York, there are hundreds of certified Ombudsmen assigned to long term care facilities across the state. Many Ombudsmen post contact information in the facilities they serve. To find an Ombudsman in your area click on one of the links below.
This directory lists Substate Ombudsmen Coordinators by county. Contact the person for your county or call 1-855-582-6769.
What is LTCOP?
The Ombudsman Program advocates for residents by investigating and resolving complaints made by or on behalf of residents; promoting the development of resident and family councils; and informing government agencies, providers and the general public about issues and concerns impacting residents of long-term care facilities.
The State Ombudsman supervises Substate Ombudsman Coordinators who serve all communities throughout the state. Substate Ombudsman programs are sponsored either by area agencies on aging or other qualified organizations.
The mission of the Office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman is to protect the health, safety, welfare, human and civil rights of people living in nursing homes and adult care facilities.
Certified Ombudsmen are a vital link between residents of long term care facilities and the government resources able to investigate and resolve their problems. Ombudsmen are committed to advocating for these senior citizens and ensuring that residents’ rights, unmet needs and complaints are handled and resolved effectively, while maintaining resident and complainant confidentiality. In this way, Ombudsmen protect and help improve the quality of life for the frailest of New York’s senior population.
The mission is accomplished by certified Ombudsmen at the state and community levels who investigate and resolve complaints made by and on behalf of residents. Ombudsmen represent residents and work on their behalf with facility administrators, staff, and family members to achieve resolution of their complaints. Ombudsmen also work with the New York State Department of Health and enforcement authorities, making enforcement referrals in cases of abuse and neglect, and assisting in investigating the underlying causes and solutions to problems. Ombudsmen take a proactive role in promoting resident-protective laws, regulations and policies on long term care issues at the state and federal levels of government.
The federal Older Americans Act forms the basis for the legal structure that supports the authority of this office. Additional enhancement to this structure is provided by New York State Elder Law (formally known as Executive Law 544). Over the years amendments to the federal law have expanded the program to include all people residing in both nursing homes and adult care facilities.
Ombudsmen use the appropriate means necessary to ensure care is being given to every person living in long term care facilities.