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How Ombudsman Helps

There are 28,000 long-term care residents in Orange County. Approximately 14,000 are alone and do not have anyone to advocate on their behalf.

The Council on Aging's Ombudsman Program (Long-term Care Advocate) was created to ensure the rights of residents in long-term care facilities are respected.

Ombudsmen empower and protect residents of skilled nursing homes, board and care homes, and assisted-living facilities. They provide the security of a caring advocate and assert the rights of a resident, particularly when a family member is not present.

As mandated by state and federal law, Ombudsmen will

  • Regularly make unannounced visits to Orange County long-term care facilities
  • Mediate and attempt to resolve resident's concerns or problems in facilities
  • Provide unbiased placement information and referrals to long-term care facilities
  • Investigate allegations of abuse and neglect
  • Witness the signing of Advanced Health Care Directives in Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Report serious facility violations to state licensing agencies.
  • Keep all complaints, communications, and investigations confidential unless resident gives permission to release.

All licensed skilled nursing and residential care facilities for the elderly are required by law to prominently display the Ombudsmen Poster listing contact numbers and services. Emergency calls are referred to appropriate resources for immediate action 24 hours a day.

Ombudsmen are:

  • Educated and trained in the needs, rights, and issues of residents in long-term care facilities
  • Well-versed in local and state regulations governing long-term care facilities
  • Trained to educate families and the community on issues of long-term care.

Be an advocate. Volunteer or Donate today.

Ombudsman Information