> Long Term Care Ombudsman Program

This program’s goal is to promote outreach and advocacy to all residents residing in nursing and rest homes throughout the Merrimack Valley. Ombudsman trained volunteers help residents resolve complaints about personal care, residents’ rights or any type of issue or concern affecting their life as a resident in a long term care facility. Program staff and Ombudsmen volunteers follow written procedures for complaint resolution and adhere to confidentiality. They also serve as a referral source for people in the community with questions about eligibility or placement in long term care facilities.

Long Term Care Ombudsman Program became part of the AoA in 1973. The Massachusetts Program was one of the first Ombudsman Pilot Projects in the Nation. The 1987 Amendments to the OAA improved the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program ability to advocate on behalf of residents in Long Term Care facilities.

Federal Older American Act of 1965 mandated Massachusetts to provide the program for the residents in Nursing and Rest Homes.

Patient Abuse and Neglect Law established mandatory reporting procedures for persons paid for caring for residents in long term care facilities. Such individuals can be subject to a fine if they have “reasonable cause to believe” abuse, mistreatment, or misappropriation has occurred and fail to report it to the Department of Public Health (DPH).

Massachusetts Attorney General Consumer Protection Regulations cover residents as consumers in matters of being made aware of his/her rights: e.g. to open mail, to be in charge of financial matters, access to visitors, to be informed of transfers and protected against illegal transfers, etc.

There is no cost to elders for Ombudsman support.

Click here for list of Nursing and Rest homes in the Merrimack Valley.

For more information about the program, nursing home and rest home placement, eligibility, regulations, or resident’s rights, call our Age Information Department at 1-800-892-0890.