Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
The California State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is authorized by the federal Older Americans Act and its State companion, the Older Californians Act. The primary responsibility of the program is to investigate and endeavor to resolve complaints made by, or on behalf of, individual residents in long-term care facilities. These facilities include nursing homes, residential care facilities for the elderly, and assisted living facilities. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program investigates elder abuse complaints in long-term care facilities and in residential care facilities for the elderly.
The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (OSLTCO) develops policy and provides oversight to the local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs. OSLTCO staff confer with State licensing agencies regarding difficult cases, meet with the California Department of Aging Staff Counsels to clarify laws and develop plans for implementing them, define program roles, and provide ongoing statewide Ombudsman training.
The goal of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is to advocate for the rights of all residents of long-term care facilities. The Ombudsman's advocacy role takes two forms: 1) to receive and resolve individual complaints and issues by, or on behalf of, these residents; and 2) to pursue resident advocacy in the long-term care system, its laws, policies, regulations, and administration through public education and consensus building. Residents or their family members can file a complaint directly with the local Long-Term Care Ombudsman or by calling the CRISISline. All long-term care facilities are required to post, in a conspicuous location, the phone number for the local Ombudsman office and the Statewide CRISISline number 1-800-231-4024. This CRISISline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take calls and refer complaints from residents.
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is a community-supported program. Volunteers are an integral part of this program. The OSLTCO and its 35 local Ombudsman Program Coordinators are responsible for recruiting, training, and supervising the volunteer Ombudsman representatives.
Ombudsman services are free and confidential. Contact your local LTC Ombudsman Program for the following resident services:
- Questions or concerns about quality of care
- Questions or concerns about financial abuse
- Suspected physical, mental or emotional abuse of residents
- Witnessing services for Advance Health Care Directives
- Requesting an Ombudsman to attend a resident care plan meeting
- Requesting an Ombudsman to attend a resident or family council meeting
The State CRISISline number
This CRISISline is available to take calls and refer complaints 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.