The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program serves more than 7,700 individuals living in 34 nursing home and 183 assisted living facilities in Montgomery County. The program is designated by the Maryland Department of Aging to operate within the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, Aging and Disability Services. The program receives federal, state and local funding to accomplish its mission of maintaining regular presence and access to services for residents of nursing homes and licensed assisted living facilities. The program supports a group of volunteer ombudsman representatives and has received national recognition. As advocates for long term care residents, the staff and volunteers seek to resolve problems, replicate best practices, research current issues and trends and convey relevant information about topics that promote the highest degree of quality of life and care.
"Ombudsman" is a Swedish term for an individual who acts as a "citizen representative." The Long Term Care Ombudsman representative is an advocate whose goal is to promote and strive for the highest quality of care for residents living in long term care facilities (nursing homes and assisted living facilities). The Ombudsman representative helps residents resolve problems within the long term care facility.
Residents of all licensed long term care facilities in Montgomery County
Friends and families of residents living in long term care facilities
Facility staff and administrators
Senior citizen groups
Any individual or group in the community interested in residents' well being
Anyone in the community seeking information about long term care
The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program started at the federal level as a result of issues raised during the 1971 White House Conference on Aging. In 1978, the Older Americans Act amendments made the Ombudsman Program mandatory for every state and defined the responsibilities in nursing homes. In 1982, the program was expanded to include assisted living facilities and group homes nationwide.
The Montgomery County Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, which operates under the County's Department of Health and Human Services-Aging and Disability Services, started in 1979 providing services to residents in nursing homes. In 1997, the program expanded to include all licensed assisted living facilities/group homes.
The success of the program is dependent on the efforts of trained and dedicated volunteers, coordinated by program staff within Aging and Disability Services.
The population of seniors and individuals with disabilities is growing at an increasing rate nationwide and in Montgomery County. These individuals are among the most frail and vulnerable and often need assistance in improving their quality of life and care.
Please click on the links above to find more information about reporting abuse, choosing a nursing home or assisted living facility, how to become a volunteer and other information .