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Nursing Home Residents: Getting Help

This page contains resources and information to help you advocate for quality long-term care. Click on the topic areas below to find more information.

 Local and State Long-Term Care Ombudsmen

Long-term care ombudsmen are advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes and assisted living facilities. Ombudsmen provide information about how to find a facility and what to do to get quality care. They are trained to resolve problems. If you want, the ombudsman can assist you with complaints. However, unless you give the ombudsman permission to share your concerns, these matters are kept confidential. Under the federal Older Americans Act, every state is required to have an Ombudsman Program that addresses complaints and advocates for improvements in the long-term care system. 

Find contact information for the long-term care ombudsman program in your state. In addition to acting as an advocate for residents, ombudsmen can educate residents, families and friends about residents' rights, state surveys and laws, federal and state, that are applicable to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

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Other State and National Resources

The long-term care system is complex and difficult to understand. In addition to ombudsmen, there are many different agencies responsible for helping to ensure good care for nursing home residents. Click on the above link to view contact information for agencies in your state.

Visit BenefitsCheckUp.org to find available fedral, state and private benefits programs in your area. These programs can help pay for prescriptions, health care, food, utilities and more.

Medicare Interactive - Created by the Medicare Rights Center, Medicare Interactive can help find answers about Medicare benefits.

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Resident Councils

Residents in a facility can join to form a united consumer voice that can communicate concerns to facility administrators and work for resolutions and improvements by forming a resident council. Visit the Resident Council Center to learn more about resident council rights, regulations applying to long-term care facilities, effective council advocacy and tools for forming an effective council and more.

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Looking for information for family members? Visit the family member section of our website.

Filing a Complaint

To file a complaint about a nursing facility, click here.  You can also visit Medicare.gov and get more information about filing a complaint.