Program Information

What is a Long Term Care Ombudsman?

A Long Term Care Ombudsman is an advocate who seeks to resolve complaints on behalf of people who receive long-term care services. The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program 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. The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is mandated by the Federal Older Americans Act and the Illinois Act on the Aging.

Ombudsman: A Swedish word meaning citizen’s representative

How does the program work?

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. Ombudsman may not discuss or disclose any information without the individual’s permission.

The Ombudsman Program services are available free of charge.

Click here for the Ombudsman Program fact sheet