Purpose and Organization
Georgia’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program works to improve the lives of residents of long-term care facilities. Ombudsman staff and Certified Volunteer Ombudsmen informally investigate and work to resolve complaints on behalf of residents. We visit long-term care facilities to be accessible to residents and monitor conditions. Ombudsmen also provide education regarding long-term care issues, identify long-term care concerns and advocate for needed change.
The Ombudsman Program is authorized by the Older Americans Act and Georgia law. The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman operates as a separate office within the Georgia Department of Human Services’ Division of Aging Services (DAS).
We provide advocacy and informal resolution of concerns of residents in long-term care facilities. Ombudsmen work on behalf of the resident and his or her wishes and desires. We may intervene in a problematic situation with the direct permission of the resident or representative. We also have resources and materials that may be helpful in addressing concerns. We are knowledgeable about laws and policies governing facilities and agencies that may be helpful in particular situations.
The Georgia Division of Healthcare Facility Regulation (HFR) licenses and inspects long-term care facilities to determine whether facilities are in compliance with regulations. Although HFR is not a “resident advocate” in the manner of ombudsmen, the agency investigates quality of care complaints and alleged abuses, neglect, and exploitation occurring within these facilities as mandated by law. (To report a complaint to HFR, call toll free 1-800-878-6442 or visit the complaint reporting online form.)
The DAS contracts with Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) to provide ombudsman services throughout the state. Most AAAs enter into contractual relationships with non-profit agencies to operate the Community Ombudsman Program in their service area, although two community ombudsman programs are housed within AAAs.
Community Ombudsman Programs employ staff and utilize volunteers to serve residents. Click here to volunteer. Contact information for the Community Ombudsman Programs and AAAs is found here.
To locate Ombudsman Programs in states other than Georgia, click here.