Welcome to the Ombudsman Program

​Long-Term Care Ombudsmen are advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes, assisted living facilities and similar adult care facilities. They work to resolve problems of individual residents and to bring about changes at the local, state and national levels that will improve residents’ care and quality of life.

Begun in 1972 as a demonstration program, the Ombudsman Program today exists in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, under the authorization of the Older Americans Act. Each state has an Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, headed by a full-time state ombudsman. Thousands of local ombudsman staff and volunteers work in hundreds of communities throughout the country as part of the statewide ombudsman programs, assisting residents and their families and providing a voice for those unable to speak for themselves.

The statewide programs are federally funded under Titles III and VII of the Act and other federal, state and local sources. The AoA-funded National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center, operated by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (or, Consumer Voice), in conjunction with the National Association of States Agencies on Aging United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD), provides training and technical assistance to state and local ombudsmen.

About Our Program

Our Mission

The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (Maryland) seeks to improve the quality of life for residents of long-term care facilities (nursing homes and assisted livings). The State Office certifies and trains community ombudsmen who work to resolve concerns of long-term care facility residents statewide. We emphasize residents' wishes in assisting to resolve problems.

What does the word "Ombudsman" means?

The term ombudsman (om-budz-man) is Scandinavian in origin. In the United States, it has come to mean "advocate."

What is a Long-Term Care Ombudsman?

The Long-Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman Program was established under federal mandate through the Older Americans’ Act. A LTC Ombudsman is an advocate for the rights and well being of nursing home and assisted-living facility residents.

What services are available through the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program?

  • Education to inform residents, families, facility staff and others on a variety of issues related to aging, long-term care and residents’ rights.
  • Information and Referral to empower individuals to resolve concerns and complaints on their own behalf.
  • Consultation to make recommendations for protecting the rights of residents and improving their care and quality of life.
  • Individual advocacy to facilitate the resolution of concerns and complaints and to protect the rights of residents.
  • Systems advocacy to identify significant concerns and problematic trends and to advocate for systemic changes that will benefit current and future residents of long-term care facilities.

Find a local Ombudsman in your area.

Who can contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program?

Anyone can contact the LTC Ombudsman Program to discuss or seek assistance in resolving a problem, concern, or complaint impacting one or more residents of a long-term care facility. This includes residents, friends, family members, facility staff, and others. As the resident advocate, however, the LTC Ombudsman always seeks to resolve the concern to the satisfaction of the resident. To contact your local ombudsman program click here.

How can I become a Long-Term Care Ombudsman?

Maryland’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program consists of the State Office and 19 Local LTC Ombudsman Programs, which are located at Area Agencies on Aging and serve specific regions. Trained Ombudsmen pay regular visits to long-term care facilities within their region to spend time with residents, monitor conditions, investigate complaints, and protect residents’ rights. If you are interested in volunteering, click here, to complete an online application, or to download and print the form. ​

How can I contact the Long-Term Ombudsman Program that serves my area?

The LTC Ombudsman Program can be contacted by phone, in writing, or by e-mail.

​ Contact Person: Stevanne Ellis, Long Term Care Ombudsman, 410-767-1100, stevanne.ellis@maryland.gov.​​​​​​​​​