Residents and Families
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is comprised of 17 local councils
across Florida, all offering free, localized advocacy services.
An ombudsman is a specially trained and certified volunteer who has been given authority under federal and state law to identify, investigate and resolve complaints made by, or on behalf of, long-term care facility residents. Ombudsmen respond to resident complaints and concerns ranging from issues with medication and care administration to matters of dignity and respect. It is the ombudsman's role to protect the legal rights of residents and assure that they receive appropriate treatment and quality care.
The experience of being helped by an ombudsman is often comforting. Our volunteers offer direct assistance to those who need it most and strive to resolve concerns with warmth and professionalism.
In addition to responding to complaints, ombudsmen annually assess each long-term care facility in Florida to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the residents.
When individuals enter long-term care facilities, they keep all their rights as citizens, and gain special “Residents' Rights” granted by federal and state law. Long-term care facilities are required to post a copy of these rights in an area easily accessible and visible to the residents, and must also provide a copy to each resident upon admission to the facility. Additionally, both federal and state laws protect any person who files a complaint against a facility from any kind of retaliation.
For a copy of Residents' Rights, please click HERE.
Filing a Complaint
Anyone can report a concern, including residents, relatives, friends, facility staff, legal representatives and other concerned citizens. Complaints may be related to the facility, its employees, or other persons who are in a position to restrict, interfere with, or threaten the health, safety, welfare, or rights of a resident of a long-term care facility.
Complaints filed with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program are kept confidential, unless permission is received from the resident or the resident’s legal representative to disclose information. The name of the complainant is also kept confidential and is released only upon the permission of the complainant. Details of the complaint are documented and the case is assigned to a local ombudsman for investigation. Once the investigation is complete and facts are verified, the ombudsman takes appropriate action by advocating for the best possible solution that satisfies the resident.
Complaints may be filed by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, in person, in writing, or by calling 1-888-831-0404. For more information about filing a complaint, please click HERE. To find the district office serving your area, please click HERE.
Many of Florida's ombudsmen expand upon their efforts by speaking with community organizations, resident groups and family councils to educate the public about residents' rights.
In the near future, this Web site will offer family empowerment tools and information on how to start and maintain a family council at a long-term care facility. In the meantime, you may contact the program with questions about what you can do to help increase the quality of life and care in a facility in your area.
To ask for an ombudsman's assistance, request a group presentation, or learn more about the program, call toll-free 1-888-831-0404
To ask for an ombudsman to visit your next Resident or Family Council Meeting for training click HERE
For more contact information for the Ombudsman Program, please click HERE
To learn about volunteering with Florida's Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, please click HERE
To subscribe to the quarterly Ombudsman newsletter, please click HERE
To see a brochure, please click HERE