Mandated by the Federal Older Americans Act and the Illinois Act on Aging, the Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) is a resident-directedadvocacy 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. Most residents receiv 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. Trained community ombudsmen regularly visit long-term care facilities, monitor conditions and care, and provide a voice for those unable to speak for themselves. 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 Ombudsman program services are available free of charge to...

  • Person(s) 18 or older who is 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.

Contact an Ombudsman to learn more about...

  • 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.