Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
Empowerment, Prevention, Quality Care
The mission of the Ombudsman Program is to serve as an advocate for older persons receiving long-term care services. Local Ombudsmen provide older Virginians and their families with information, advocacy, complaint counseling, and assistance in resolving care problems. The program also represents the interests of long-term care consumers before state and federal government agencies and the General Assembly.
- Receive, investigate, and work to resolve complaints involving quality of care issues.
- Assist residents in exercising their rights.
- Mediate concerns between residents and/or their families and the facility.
- Provide residents and their families with information about government benefits and other agencies that may be of assistance.
The Ombudsman Program is mandated under the Federal Older Americans Act to receive, investigate and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of persons in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The General Assembly expanded the program's responsibilities in 1983 to include community based long-term care services provided by state and private agencies.
The Ombudsman Program promotes the principles of consumer empowerment, prevention, and quality care by responding to complaints from older persons receiving long-term care services, and by providing consumer/public education, including information and referral assistance regarding Virginia's network of long-term care services.
The Ombudsman Program has a unique role. While it works cooperatively with regulatory agencies and other programs such as Adult Protective Services, its efforts are focused on complaint resolution and empowering persons to resolve complaints themselves when appropriate.
The Virginia Association of Area Agencies on Aging (V4A) began management and operation of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program under contract with the Virginia Department for the Aging on July 1, 1995. This was in response to the 1995 General Assembly action which transferred the Ombudsman Program from the Virginia Department for the Aging to the Area Agencies on Aging.
See our Ombudsman Brochure for additional information on the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. We also maintain a list of local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs and the areas in the state that they serve.
- State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Joani Latimer
- Assistant State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Gail Shirley
Fax: (804) 644-5640