An advocate who supports the interests, well-being and rights of long-term care residents is called an Ombudsman—or an Ombud(s).

Common Questions

What is a Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program?+

The Washington State Long-Term Care Ombudsman advocates for residents of nursing homes, adult family homes, and assisted living facilities. Our purpose is to protect and promote the Resident Rights guaranteed to these residents under federal and state laws and regulations.

We are trained to receive complaints and resolve problems in situations involving quality of care, use of restraints, transfer and discharge, abuse, and other aspects of resident dignity and rights. 

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Who Can Use the Ombudsman Program?+
  • Residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities,  adult family homes, and veteran’s homes,
  • Relatives and friends of residents in long-term care facilities,
  • Administrators and employees of nursing homes, assisted living facilities,  adult family homes, and veteran’s homes,
  • Any group or individual concerned about the welfare of residents of long-term care facilities,
  • The community-at-large
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How much does it cost to use the Washington State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program?+

The Washington State Long-Term Care Ombudsman is free and available to all residents, families, and community members involved in the long-term care system in Washington state.

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Our Ombuds

An Ombuds listens to concerns and questions and will:

  • Advocate for the rights of residents
  • Provide answers to resident’s concerns about quality of life and quality of care in long-term care
  • Work with residents, families, operators, and long-term care staff to meet the needs and concerns of those who live there
  • Monitor laws, rules, and policies that affect those who live in long-term care
  • Provide public education to increase understanding of long-term care
  • Help residents, family, staff, and operators of long-term care homes and communities set up a resident or family council

Volunteer Opportunities

To become a Certified Volunteer Long-Term Care (LTC) Ombuds, contact:
Neil Degerstedt, Regional LTC Ombuds
360-992-4076
Neil.Degerstedt@dshs.wa.gov

Upcoming Volunteer Training
Spring 2024 Certification:
9 am to 4 pm
March 27, 29; April 1, 5
At the Area Agency on Aging & Disabilities office in Vancouver

Interested in becoming a Certified LTC Volunteer Ombuds?
Send completed forms via email to swwaltcop@dshs.wa.gov

Why do I need an Ombuds?

A Long-Term Care (LTC) home or community should care for residents to maintain or enhance each resident’s quality of life. Residents should have a safe, clean, comfortable, and homelike environment.

Residents who are frail and vulnerable may not be able to speak up for their needs and desires. Some residents are alone and don’t have relatives or regular visitors to see how they are being cared for or to advocate on their behalf. An assigned Ombuds gives distant caregivers the peace of mind that someone is looking out for their loved one’s needs.

Who can use the Ombuds program?

  • Residents of nursing homes, assisted living communities, adult family homes, and veteran’s homes
  • Relatives, friends, and decision-makers of residents in long-term care 
  • Administrators and employees of long-term care homes and communities
  • Any group or individual with concerns about the welfare of residents in long-term care
  • The community-at-large

Regional LTC Ombudsman Office (SW Washington)
360-694-9007 or 800-562-6028

State LTC Ombudsman Program
waombudsman.org

Area Agency on Aging & Disabilities of SW Washington
360-735-5720

 
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