Long-term Care Ombudsman Program

Residents in nursing homes are among the most frail and vulnerable Texans. At times, they need help to improve their quality of life and care. An ombudsman can provide assistance so all facility residents receive respectful and competent care.

Congress amended the Older Americans Act in 1978 to establish the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program to serve residents in long-term care facilities. Ombudsman services are available in every state and territory of the United States. In Texas, the Office of the Long-term Care Ombudsman operates in the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.

The Texas Ombudsman Program advocates for quality of life and care for residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Federal and state authority mandates ombudsmen to identify, investigate and resolve complaints made by, or on behalf of, residents and to provide services to help in protecting health, safety, welfare and rights. Information and assistance in choosing the most appropriate living residence is also a valuable service.

Across Texas, through all 28 Area Agencies on Aging, certified ombudsmen serve residents, their families and friends. Professional staff supervise the volunteers.

Ombudsmen support individualized care that is resident-directed. To learn how nursing homes are changing their care practices, visit the DADS Culture Change website.

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Updated: September 25, 2014