How Does the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Address Complaints and Concerns?

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program serves as a focal point whereby a consumer of long-term care or their representative can voice their concerns and have their complaints addressed formally.  The Long-Term Care Ombudsman investigates and works to resolve concerns through complaint counseling, negotiation, and complaint investigations.  The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is not a licensing/regulatory agency, but may work together with a licensing/regulatory agency.

Confidential Complaint Counseling

  • The Long-Term Care Ombudsman helps consumers advocate for themselves through a process of information and referral and empowerment. This occurs by telephone, e-mail or in-person.

Components of Negotiation

  • Negotiation occurs between parties with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman serving as a facilitator focused on residents' rights advocacy.
  • Both parties express their concerns, issues, and expectations.
  • Resolution occurs if both parties agree on the solutions.


Complaint Investigations - Resolution Focused

  • The Long-Term Care Ombudsman acts on behalf of the long-term recipient.
  • Requires a signed waiver of rights to confidentiality, which permits the Long-Term Care Ombudsman staff to review records and discuss related information.
  • Anonymous complaints are accepted, although the scope of the investigation may be limited.
  • The Long-Term Care Ombudsman obtains facts and relevant information to determine if the grievance is valid and facilitates a resolution of the problem.
  • The Long-Term Care Ombudsman has up to 45 working days to complete the investigation.
  • Complaint investigations are kept confidential and are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

 Possible categories of findings:

  • Verified: It was determined that the circumstances described in the complaint are substantiated or generally accurate.
  • Not Verified: It is determined after a formal investigation that the circumstances described in the complaint could not be substantiated.

Possible categories of resolution:

  • Not resolved to the satisfaction of resident or complainant.
  • Withdrawn by the resident or complainant.
  • Referred to other agency for resolution and:
         1.  Final disposition not obtained.
         2.  Other agency failed to act.
  • Partially resolved but some problem remained.
  • Resolved to the satisfaction of resident or complainant.


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