Protecting the Rights of Persons Who Live in Long Term Care Facilities, and/or Who Receive Home or Community-Based Services to Help Them Remain in Their Home

Mandated by the Federal Older Americans Act and the Illinois Act on Aging, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) is resident-directed, and protects and promotes the rights and quality of life for people who reside in long-term care facilities (nursing homes). This is done through regional ombudsman programs that have a hands–on working relationship with the residents and staff of the facilities within their program areas. This video provides information to increase awareness about the LTCOP, and the recent expansion of ombudsman advocacy into the community.

How the Program Works

Ombudsmen protect, defend and advocate for residents and participants by...

  • Advocating for good resident-directed and person-centered care, more long-term care options and improved quality of care.
  • Empowering seniors and adults with disabilities to self-advocate.
  • Providing information to help people get answers to their questions about the full spectrum of long-term care and support services - in nursing facilities and in the community.
  • Making referrals to individuals for information, problem resolution resources, including formal grievance and appeals processes, and legal services.
  • Investigating complaints and problems. Ombudsmen dig a little deeper to understand the problem and find potential solutions. Ombudsmen handle and resolve complaints to the satisfaction of residents and participants.
  • Discussing options for resolving problems and can bring together people who want to discuss potential solutions.
  • Advocating and assisting with appeals and if your services are terminated.

The Ombudsman program is available to...

  • Residents* of any 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 nursing home 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.

* The Illinois Department on Aging defines a resident as a person 60 or older who is either a current resident, a prospective resident, or a former resident of a long-term care facility.

When contacted, an Ombudsman will...

  • Listen, in order to understand an issue from all sides.
  • Maintain confidentiality. LTCOP staff will not reveal personal information without the individual's permission unless there is a serious or eminent threat to the health and safety of the individual or others.

Reasons to contact an Ombudsman...

  • To learn more about resident-directed and/or person-centered care;
  • To report a problem or concern;
  • To seek information about long-term care facilities;
  • To learn about how to participate in decisions related to care;
  • To learn more about Illinois' Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program; and
  • To get answers to questions about...
    • Facility services or standards;
    • Available home care services provided in the community;
    • Medical coverage;
    • Resident rights; and/or
    • Transfer or discharge.

 Publications Related to or About the LTC Ombudsman Program Expansion



For more information on the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, contact...

For more information on the Pioneer Approach to Long Term Care and the Illinois Long Term Care Ombudsman program, see also: