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Ombudsman Program

Ombudsman is an advocacy program established by the Older Americans Act and Maryland law to protect the rights and promote the well-being of long-term care (LTC) residents in facilities like nursing homes and Skilled Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) and continuing care retirement communities (CCRC). Ombudsman provide the following services for no charge:

  • Investigate and attempt to resolve problems and complaints—Aid resident and family councils to clarify, identify, communicate and resolve group concerns made by or on behalf of residents, through the use of advocacy, negotiation and mediation skills
  • Answering questions and educating—About LTC alternatives, residents' rights, quality of care, financing and discharge, and transfer planning
  • Improve the quality of life of nursing home residents—View a list of County nursing homes or tips for choosing a nursing home.
  • Provide volunteer Ombudsman—Learn how to become a volunteer Ombudsman that visits, educates and advocates for LTC residents.
  • Ombudsman Lending Library—Over 160 videos, books and other materials are available to borrow. The Ombudsman Lending Library assists area facilities, employees and citizens in improving their knowledge and training in the areas of elder abuse, caregiving and other relevant topics. 

Resident Rights

LTC residents have the right to:

  • Privacy, respect and dignity
  • Adequate care, treatment and services
  • A written statement of services and charges
  • Control their personal funds and clothing
  • Participate in medical treatment planning
  • Be free from abuse and neglect (mental, physical, sexual and financial)
  • A reasonable response to requests
  • Writing supplies and postage at the resident's expense
  • The name, address and telephone number of the attending physician at your bedside
  • 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

Contact Information

To contact the Ombudsman Program or file a complaint, email or call 410-887-4200.

Revised July 13, 2021         


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