Department of Aging
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Ombudsman Program

Ombudsman is an advocacy program created to protect the rights and promote the well being of nursing home residents. Staff and volunteers in the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program serve as advocates for residents of long term care facilities: nursing homes, assisted living facilities (ALFs) and continuing care retirement centers (CCRCs). They investigate and attempt to resolve problems and complaints made by or on behalf of residents.

Staff answer inquiries about long term care resident's rights and quality of care, nursing home alternatives, financing and other issues related to pre-placement planning or residents' rights. There is no charge for these services. Contact the Ombudsman Program main office at 410-887-4200.

New to our site is the Ombudsman Lending Library, designed to assist area facilities, employees or citizens to improve their knowledge and training in the areas of elder abuse, caregiving, and other relevant topics.  Over 160 videos, books and other materials are available to borrow.

Ombudsmen are Here to Serve You 

The Baltimore County Department of Aging's Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program was established by the Older Americans Act and Maryland law. Its primary aim is to provide advocacy services to the residents of Baltimore County long term care facilities. Trained Ombudsmen work to:

  • help residents investigate and resolve complaints through the use of advocacy, negotiation, and mediation skills.
  • educate residents, family members, and nursing home staff about residents' rights.
  • aid resident and family councils identify and resolve group concerns.
  • clarify and communicate concerns to appropriate staff members and help all parties involved find acceptable solutions to problems.
  • improve the quality of life of nursing home residents.
  • provide trained volunteers to visit, educate, and advocate for nursing home residents.

Know Your Rights

As a nursing home resident, you have the right to:

  • be treated with respect and dignity.
  • adequate care, treatment, and services.
  • a written statement of services and charges.
  • control of your personal funds.
  • participate in medical treatment planning.
  • the name, address, and telephone number of the attending physician at your bedside.
  • be free from mental, physical, sexual, and financial abuse and neglect.
  • a reasonable response to requests.
  • associate and communicate privately with persons or groups of choice.
  • have access to writing supplies and postage at the resident's expense.
  • privacy.
  • retain and use personal clothing.
  • be discharged only after 30 days notice and only for safety, medical, or financial reasons.
  • present grievances without fear of reprisal, restraint, or discrimination.
  • an advance directive to indicate the kind and extent of care desired.

Ombudsmen Can Help

We are here to help long term care residents by:

  • advocating for your rights.
  • preserving your privacy.
  • ensuring your dignity.
  • investigating your complaints.

All information is kept confidential. There is no charge for Ombudsman services.

If you have any questions or concerns about Baltimore County nursing homes, or if you wish to file a complaint, call 410-887-4200.

Additional Helpful Information

How to Become a Volunteer Ombudsman

List of Baltimore County Nursing Homes

Tips for Choosing a Nursing Home

Revised August 14, 2013

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