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  • Writer's pictureBrian A. Raphan, Esq.

Seeking long-term care? How your local Ombudsman can help…

  1. OMBUDSMAN: What is the Program/Service Via

Educating, empowering and advocating for long-term care residents. The Ombudsman Program is an effective advocate and resource for older adults and persons with disabilities, who live in nursing homes, assisted living and other licensed adult care homes. Ombudsmen help residents understand and exercise their rights to good care in an environment that promotes and protects their dignity and quality of life.

The Ombudsman Program advocates for residents by investigating and resolving complaints made by or on behalf of residents; promoting the development of resident and family councils; and informing government agencies, providers and the general public about issues and concerns impacting residents of long-term care facilities.

Mandated by the federal Older Americans Act, in New York the Ombudsman Program is administratively housed at the State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA), and provides advocacy services through a network of 36 local programs. Each local Ombudsman Program is lead by a designated ombudsman coordinator who recruits, trains and supervises a corps of volunteers, currently more than 1000 statewide. These certified volunteers provide a regular presence in nursing homes and adult care facilities are available to help residents with questions and concerns about their care and living conditions.

Conversations with the ombudsman are confidential and residents or other persons can register a complaint anonymously. Ombudsmen handle a wide variety of complaints involving quality of care, residents’ rights, discharge, medications, lost or stolen items, dietary issues, and quality of life concerns. Ombudsmen can also provide information and consultation about how to choose a facility and how to pay for long-term care.

  1. Who is Eligible?

While the program serves all residents of licensed long-term care facilities regardless of age.

  1. Is There a Cost?

Ombudsman services are provided free of charge.

  1. How do I Get Help/Apply?

Contact your local Office for the Aging or local NY Connects Program.

For Additional Help Contact –

To locate the local Ombudsman Program that serves your area, to find more information about long-term care, to register a complaint, or if you are interested in becoming a volunteer ombudsman go to our ombudsman website.

or call toll-free, 1-800-342-9871.

To report abuse, neglect or financial exploitation you may also contact the New York State Department of Health (DoH) Nursing Home Hotline at 1-888-201-4563 or the Adult Home Hotline at 1-866-893-6772. A list of nursing homes and adult homes, by county,

may be found on the DoH website.

(External Link)


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