An Advocate and Resource
The Ombudsman Program is an effective advocate and resource for older adults and people 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 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 oversight agency for nursing homes and long term care facilities is the New York State Department of Health.
The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) is a federal advocacy program dedicated to protecting people living in long-term care facilities. In New York State, the Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman is an independent office administratively housed in the New York State Office for the Aging.
The State Ombudsman supervises Regional Ombudsman Coordinators who serve all communities throughout the state. Regional Ombudsman programs are sponsored by non-profit organizations, independent living centers and area agencies on aging.
The heart of the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is its corps of specially trained and certified citizen-volunteer ombudsmen. Many volunteers are retired professionals from various fields. These dedicated Ombudsmen spend an average of two to four hours a week in each of their assigned facilities, advocating for the residents.