mission statement

What is an Ombudsman?

An Ombudsman (awm-budz-man) is an advocate for people who live in long-term care facilities.  This includes people residing in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, board and care homes, home plus facilities, adult day care centers, and residential health care facilities. Kansas' Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is a resident-centered program designed to advocate for residents' civil and human rights and give a voice to those who might otherwise go unheard. 

One of the principal purposes of the ombudsman program is to investigate and resolve complaints made by residents or on behalf of residents in long-term care facilities. Certified ombudsman staff and volunteers investigate and work to resolve complaints while focusing resolutions on the resident's wishes. Ombudsmen regularly visit long-term care facilities to be accessible to residents and monitor conditions.

The Kansas Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is made up of staff and volunteers who are passionate about improving the quality of life for residents. It takes a special kind of person to commit to such a mission. We are proud to be a unique program whose success depends on the passion and empathy of volunteers. These amazing individuals dedicate thousands of unpaid hours each year to ensure that the voices of Kansas' long-term care facility residents are heard.

In addition, ombudsmen educate residents, facility staff, and the community, identify long-term care concerns, and advocate for needed changes in policies, laws, and regulations.

Responding to Resident Concerns

Staff and volunteer ombudsmen are trained in resident’s rights, problem solving, communication, intervention, negotiation skills, and working with long-term care staff. Ombudsmen advocate for improving the quality of life for residents by listening to the concerns of residents and their loved ones.  They then work with residents and staff to assist in resolving the concerns and achieving solutions that best meet the resident's needs. 

Ombudsmen receive and investigate complaints made by or on behalf of nursing home residents and serve as a voice for residents in resolving these complaints. Examples of common issues in long-term care homes include: dignity and respect, discharges and evictions, medication administration, matters of personal hygiene, food service, general housekeeping and staffing issues.  

Ombudsmen work to resolve residents' concerns to the best of their abilities, to the residents' satisfaction. All services are provided at no charge, and all complaints are confidential.

History of the Ombudsman Program

Kansas’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program was founded in 1975 as a result of the federal Older Americans Act, which grants a special set of residents' rights to individuals who live in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other adult care homes. Staff and volunteer ombudsmen seek to ensure the health, safety, welfare and rights of these residents throughout Kansas.

The Ombudsman Program operates under the authority of federal and state law. Click HERE to read the  state statutes regarding the Ombudsman Program.

Contacting our Program

If you or your loved one need the assistance of an ombudsman, would like to learn more about the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, or talk with someone about volunteering as an ombudsman, please contact a regional ombudsman office in your area. Click HERE to see contact information for our regional offices.

Or,  contact the State Ombudsman's office at:

Office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman
900 SW Jackson, Suite 1041
Topeka, KS  66612

785-296-3017 or toll-free 1-877-662-8362
Fax: 785-296-3916

Or email us at LTCO@ks.gov