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.

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: