he word, "Ombudsman" (om-budz-man), is Scandinavian. In this country the word has come to mean an advocate or helper. A long term care ombudsman protects and promotes the rights of long term care consumers, working with the consumers and their families to achieve their expected quality of care and quality of life. The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program was mandated by Congress through the Older Americans Act and, in Wisconsin, the Board on Aging and Long Term Care operates the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program statewide. Long term care consumers have an undeniable right to express any complaints or concerns about their care or treatment to an Ombudsman without fear of retaliation or reprisal.
The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program provides advocacy services to persons age 60 and older who are consumers of Wisconsin long term care programs. The Ombudsman Program has, by law, the authority to have contact with any resident or tenant of a Wisconsin nursing home, Community Based Residential Facility (CBRF), Residential Care Apartment Complex (RCAC), Adult Family Home (AFH), or person served by the community Options Program or the Family Care/Partnership/PACE program.
Nineteen dedicated and skilled Ombudsmen serve residents of all of Wisconsin's 72 counties. Services are available at no charge, and all complaints are kept confidential, as per the direction of the individual voicing the concern.