Specialized Information for:

Nursing HomesAssisted Living/Board & Care Home and Community Based Services

Are You a New Ombudsman?

Welcome to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Network!  You join a network of more than 8,155 volunteers certified to handle complaints and 2,357 paid staff ombudsmen charged with advocating for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes and assisted living facilities. This page includes information on the history of the long-term care ombudsman program, the ombudsman program in federal law and regulations, who are the key stakeholders in the long-term care ombudsman network and an overview of the resources for long-term care ombudsmen found on the NORC website.

Get to know the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program - History


First and foremost, a Long-Term Care Ombudsman is a resident advocate. Residents guide all LTCO advocacy and work. This video provides a detailed discussion on the history of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and the work that Ombudsman across the country do on a daily basis to help residents of long-term care facilities.

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program: History, Role and Responsibilities (October 2012)
This presentation provides a general overview of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) highlighting the history, role and responsibilities of the program. Every state has a LTCOP, but each state operates their program differently. Therefore, this presentation will only address the program responsibilities required by federal law so the information is applicable in every state. At the conclusion of this presentation you should have an understanding about what the LTCOP does, who Long-Term Care Ombudsmen (LTCO) represent and how to work with the LTCO. 

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Check out NORC's Online Training for LTCOs!

The Curriculum modules cover the History and Role of the LTCOP, the Aging Process, Residents’ Rights, the Problem Solving Process: Investigation, and the Problem Solving Process: Resolution.

Click here to learn more

Get to know the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program - Federal Law and Regulation


The Ombudsman Program and the Older Americans Act
Click on the window below to read about the origins of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Under the Older Americans Act.

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Regulations
Final Rule: 45 CFR Parts 1321 and 1327 State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs (February 2015)
Since 1992, the functions of the State Long-Term Ombudsman program have been delineated in the Older Americans Act; however, regulations have not been promulgated.  In the absence of regulatory guidance, there has been significant variation in the interpretation and implementation of the program among States.  Recent inquiries from States and an AoA compliance review in one State have highlighted the difficulty of determining State compliance in carrying out the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program functions. This rule provides the first regulatory guidance for States' Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs to provide clarity about implementation. This rule became effective July 1, 2016.

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Final Regulations Overview
The information contained in this document is an overview of the Final Regulations for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (amending 45 CFR Parts 1321 and 1327), published in the Federal Register, Vol. 80, No. 28, 7704-7767 (February 11, 2015).  The purpose of this overview is to provide a quick reference to the provisions included in the regulation.

References to Ombudsmen in Federal Nursing Home Law and Regulations

Get to Know the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Network - Who's Who


National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC)
Under the Older Americans Act, the Administration on Aging is tasked with administering the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC).  AoA currently provides a grant to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care to operate NORC.  NORC subcontracts with the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities to provide direct support and technical assistance to State and Local Ombudsmen, along with NALLTCO, the National Association of Local Long-Term Care Ombudsmen, and NASOP, the National Association of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs.

LTCOP Network Acronyms
This document spells out the many acronyms you may encounter as a new long-term care ombudsman.

Access NORC's Ombudsman Support Resources