WV Bureau of Senior Services

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

The country's Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs were established in each state by the Older Americans Act. The mission of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is to enhance the quality of life, improve the level of care, protect individual rights, and promote the dignity of each senior citizen and/or person with a disability, of any age, housed in a long-term care facility. Long-term care facilities include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other types of care homes. (You can find detailed information about the past performance of every Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country at Nursing Home Compare.) 
 
Ombudsmen are not employed by the long-term care facilities. West Virginia's State Ombudsman is employed by the Bureau of Senior Services, and the Bureau contracts with Legal Aid of West Virginia to conduct the day-to-day operation of the program via an Ombudsman Supervisor and nine Regional Ombudsmen.
 
The Ombudsman Program will train interested individuals to become certified Ombudsman Volunteers. After an initial 25-hour certification training period, a volunteer will visit the facility to which they are assigned a few hours each month. Learn more about becoming an Ombudsman Volunteer.
 
In conjunction with the Ombudsman Program, the Medicaid Aged and Disabled Waiver Program has published a brochure entitled "How to Report Adult Abuse and Neglect," which defines different types of abuse, neglect, and emergency situations, and what you can do to report them.
 
For more information about the Ombudsman Program view the Ombudsman brochure, or call 1-800-834-0598 to speak with an ombudsman or to request services.