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Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

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What is the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

Mandated by the Federal Older Americans Act and the Illinois Act on Aging, the Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) is a resident-directed advocacy program which protects and improves the quality of life for residents in a variety of long-term care settings. Ombudsmen work to resolve problems of individual residents and to bring about changes at the local, state and national levels to improve care.

Who the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Serves

Trained community ombudsmen regularly visit long-term care facilities, monitor conditions and care, and provide a voice for those unable to speak for themselves. Most residents receive good care in long-term care facilities; however, far too many experience violations of their rights including abuse, neglect, poor care, isolation and lack of choices and meaningful activities.  Long-Term Care Ombudsmen make every reasonable effort to assist, empower, represent and intervene on behalf of the resident. Ombudsman work is directed by the resident.

How the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Works

Long-Term Care Ombudsmen are assigned to designated regions throughout the state of Illinois and work closely with residents to protect and honor residents' rights by...

  • Advocating to improve the quality of care and quality of life for residents of long-term care facilities in Illinois.

  • Empowering seniors and adults with disabilities to self-advocate.

  • Providing information to residents about residents' rights, long-term care options, supports and services in nursing facilities and in the community.

  • Investigating complaints and concerns. Ombudsmen will work to resolve complaints to the satisfaction of residents.

  • Listening, in order to understand an issue from the resident's perspective.

  • Maintaining confidentiality. Ombudsmen may not discuss or disclose any information without the individual's permission.

The Services Provided are Free of Charge

  • Person(s) 18 or older who is/are either a current resident, a prospective resident, or a former resident of a long-term care facility;

  • Friends and relatives of persons who live in long-term care facilities;

  • Long-term care facility staff members and administrators with resident-related concerns;

  • Individuals and families who are considering long-term care facility placement as a long-term care option;

  • The community-at-large; and

  • Other interested groups concerned about the welfare of residents of long-term care facilities.

When you should contact an Ombudsman 

  • resident-directed and/or person-centered care;

  • how to report a problem or concern that has occurred in a long-term care facility;

  • Home Care Ombudsman activity in the community;

  • how a resident can participate in decisions related to their care;

  • facility regulations;

  • Home care services provided in the community;

  • residents' rights;

  • Involuntary transfers or discharges.

How to contact an Ombudsman