All nursing homes, personal care homes and assisted living facilities have an ombudsman appointed by the state government. The role of this individual, whether paid or voluntary is to represent the residents and the families when concerns arise. In many cases these facilities have a family group meeting once each month. In all honesty, these can be nothing more than complaint sessions and a way for families to vent frustrations. A more effective manner of using the ombudsman is to request a meeting with family members and the executive director of the facility or another appropriate person who can see that changes are made. All facilities have the name and contact information of their ombudsman posted throughout the facility. If you don’t see the posting, ask the receptionist or other staff and they can direct you. You can also contact your local area agency on aging for the long term care ombudsman department. A helpful website is

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Care Communities and Housing Category

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