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Long-Term Care Ombudsman

This program provides assistance to elderly Tennesseans residing in nursing homes, homes for the aged, assisted care living facilities, and adult care homes. The Ombudsman is available to help residents and their families resolve questions or problems and will advocate for solutions to problems for qualified residents of long-term care facilities.

When residents and families cannot resolve their problems through consultation with the facility staff or governmental agencies involved, they should contact their District Ombudsman. The Ombudsman works with many agencies and may be able to help resolve questions or concerns that involve state and federal agencies administering services to the elderly. Concerns can include quality of care, financial information, resident rights, admissions, transfer, and discharge. Also included are questions regarding nursing homes, homes for the aged, assisted care living facilities, Medicaid, and Medicare.

Choose a topic below for more information.

For Residents

The Ombudsman takes time to listen to the concerns of the resident. Residents can share concerns about their situations or other personal concerns. *The Ombudsman will keep these matters confidential. The Ombudsman will assist in trying to resolve concerns and problems and can also explain resident rights and responsibilities.

Nursing Home Resident Rights

  • A safe and clean living environment
  • Privacy
  • Information
  • Exercise their civil rights
  • Participate in or refuse treatment
  • Voice grievances without retaliation
  • Manage personal finances
  • Adequate and appropriate medical and nursing care
  • Be free of physical and chemical restraints
  • Take part in community activities
  • Be treated with courtesy and respect
  • Private visits and unrestricted communications
  • Not to be transferred or discharged from the home
  • Be free from physical, verbal, mental, and emotional abuse

For Relatives and Friends

As a friend or relative, you may have concerns about a resident's care or the cost of care. Likewise, you may have questions about obtaining services from resources outside the facility. Ombudsman can:

  • Provide information regarding the admission process to nursing homes, assisted care living facilities and homes for the aged
  • Help clarify nursing home, assisted care living facility, or home for the aged regulations that apply to your situation
  • Make helpful referrals to other agencies
  • Help find solutions to small problems before they get too big
  • Promote healthy and realistic attitudes of residents and families toward nursing homes
  • Respect requests for anonymity
  • Act as a resource for staff training needs

Volunteer Ombudsman

Trained volunteer representatives of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program visit residents in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities and establish a regular presence in the facility. They provide information about resident rights, quality of care, and quality of life to residents and family members. Volunteers also observe conditions, advocate for residents, and handle simple complaints.

Volunteers are the eyes and ears of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and are rewarded by knowing that their presence can make a difference in the lives and care of long-term care residents.

For more information about becoming a volunteer Ombudsman, contact Lauren Meeker at lauren.meeker@tn.gov or 615-837-5112.

Could You Be a Volunteer Ombudsman?

You could become a volunteer if you feel a concern for elderly residents of long-term care facilities; if you feel you are an assertive, mature person with some experience with elderly persons; and if you are willing to complete a volunteer training certification program and want a responsible, challenging experience.

For more information about becoming a volunteer Ombudsman, contact Lauren Meeker at lauren.meeker@tn.gov or 615-837-5112.

Informational Links

The following links pertain to the licensing and standards of nursing homes and assisted living facilities:

Federal Code of Regulations Governing Nursing Homes (along with more information and tools)

Tennessee Licensed Facilities *Please note: This link will take you from the TCAD section of the state site to a Department of Health page.

Tennessee Standards for Assisted Care Living Facilities, Homes for the Aged, and Nursing Homes

Contact Information

For additional questions regarding the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, call or write:
 
Lauren Meeker
State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability
502 Deaderick Street, 9th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243-0860
Tel: 615-837-5112
Fax: 615-741-3309
Toll Free: 877-236-0013
TDD: 615-532-3893
Email: lauren.meeker@tn.gov

Or review a list of Tennessee's District Long-Term Care Ombudsman to find and contact your local ombudsman.

Tennessee Long-Term Care Ombudsman logo, active as a link for contacting the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.