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About the Program


Under the federal Older Americans Act (OAA) every state is required to have an Ombudsman Program that addresses complaints and advocates for improvements in the long-term care system.


The RISLTCOP advocates for residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and those receiving hospice or licensed home care who have been victims of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation. Ombudsmen work to resolve problems these individuals face and effect change at the local, state, and national levels to improve quality of care.

Responsibilities of the Office include:

  • Educating residents, their family, and facility staff about residents’ rights and good care practices;
  • Ensuring residents have regular and timely access to ombudsman services;
  • Providing technical support for the development of resident and family councils;
  • Advocating for changes to improve residents’ quality of life and care;
  • Providing information to the public regarding long-term care facilities and services, residents’ rights, and legislative and policy issues;
  • Representing resident interests before governmental agencies; and
  • Seeking legal, administrative and other remedies to protect residents

Statement of Philosophy

The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman believes that all older persons and people with disabilities who receive long-term care services should be provided with the highest level of care, have autonomy to direct their care and services, live in an environment of respect, be free from abuse, neglect, and mistreatment and enjoy a quality of life which meets their special individual needs and preferences.

Program purpose

Advocate on behalf of residents and identify, investigate and resolve through mediation, negotiation, and administrative action, complaints filed by residents or individuals acting on their behalf;

Identify, investigate and resolve, through mediation, negotiation and administrative action, complaints filed by any individual organization or government agency that has reason to believe that a long term care facility, organization or government agency (responsible for the regulation, inspection, visitation or supervision of facilities or which provides services to residents of facilities) has engaged in activities, practices or omissions that constitute a violation of applicable statutes or regulations or that may have an adverse effect upon the health, safety, welfare, rights or the quality of life of residents of long term care facilities.

Who Can Use the Ombudsman Service?

  • Individuals residing in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, those receiving licensed home care or hospice services
  • Friends and relatives of individuals receiving long-term care services
  • Long-term care staff members and administrators with resident-related concerns
  • The community-at-large

Who can make a complaint?

  • Any resident of a nursing home or assisted living residence
  • Any patient receiving licensed home care or hospice services
  • Individuals acting on their behalf
  • Organizations or government agencies
  • Concerned citizens

The Rhode Island Office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman is housed within the Alliance for Better Long Term Care. The Ombudsman office operates as an independent body whose sole purpose is to assist elders and individuals with disabilities that receive long term care services. Long term care services include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home care, and hospice services, the Bristol Veterans Home, Eleanor Slater Hospital Regan Building in Cranston, and Zambarano Hospital in Pascoag.

The office works with other federal and state entities in the further assistance of promoting residents’ rights. The Ombudsman also raises long term care issues of concern to policymakers. This may include testifying for or against a bill being presented in the legislature.

Non-Discrimination Policy

The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, disability, military status, or income in any of its activities or operations. These activities include provision of services to residents and the public, the hiring and terminating of staff and selection of Volunteers.

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