Ombudsman for Long-Term Care

Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care

"Enhancing the Quality of Life and the Quality of Services for Adults Through Advocacy, Education and Empowerment"

What Is The Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care?

A program of the Minnesota Board on Aging, the Office advocates for person-directed living, throughout the health care continuum, which respects individual values and preferences and preserves individual rights.

Regional ombudsmen and volunteers, work with consumers, citizens, nursing homes, hospitals, home care and social service agencies and public agencies to enhance the quality of life and services for individuals receiving health care and supportive services at home, in hospitals, in nursing homes and boarding care homes, and in other community settings such as housing with services (assisted living, customized living), adult foster care and adult day centers.

The Office also works to enhance the quality of life and services for consumers by advocating for reform in the health care and social services delivery systems through changes in state and federal law and administrative policy.

What Is An Ombudsman?

An ombudsman is an independent consumer advocate. Ombudsmen investigate complaints concerning the health, safety, welfare and rights of long-term care consumers, work to resolve individual concerns, and identify problems and advocate for changes to address them, at no charge to the consumer. Ombudsmen also offer information and consultation about nursing home, boarding care home, housing with services, assisted living, customized living, home care and hospital services, rights and regulations. Additionally, ombudsmen work with providers of long-term care services to promote a culture of person-directed living.

Who Do We Serve?

  • Residents of nursing homes and boarding care homes
  • Residents of other adult care homes (i.e., housing with services, assisted living, customized living or foster care)
  • Persons receiving home care services
  • Medicare beneficiaries with hospital access or discharge concerns
  • Anyone seeking consultation about long-term care services

How Can We Help?

Ombudsmen provide information and consultation about consumer rights and the regulations that apply to long-term care facilities, home and community-based settings, and home care services.

Ombudsmen help to resolve disputes between consumers and providers of long-term care services, regardless of where those services are provided.

Ombudsmen handle complaints and problems relating to

  • Quality Care/Services
  • Quality of Life
  • Rights Violations
  • Access to Services
  • Service Termination
  • Discharge or Eviction
  • Public Benefit Programs

Request a variety of consumer resources using Consumer Resources Order Form

More About the Ombudsman

The Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care makes available the 2016 annual report in order to provide comprehensive information about the Ombudsman Program; the consumer's we serve through complaint investigations, program activities such as Ombudsman presence in facilities, measuring outcomes, and recognizing the importance of volunteers to accomplish our mission.

In 2012, the Legislature directed the Minnesota Board on Aging's Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care to:

  1. Research the existence of differential treatment based on source of payment in assisted living settings;
  2. Convene stakeholders to provide technical assistance and expertise in studying and addressing these issues, including but not limited to consumers, health care and housing providers, advocates representing seniors and younger persons with disabilities or mental health challenges, county representatives, and representatives of the Departments of Health and Human Services; and
  3. Submit a report of findings to the legislature no later than January 31, 2013 with recommendations for the development of policies and procedures to prevent and remedy instances of discrimination based on participation in or potential eligibility for medical assistance.
Read the report to the Legislature


How Do I Find an Ombudsman?

The state office staff and the regional ombudsmen serving the 7-county metropolitan area are located in the Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care's state office in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. Nine regional offices are located statewide.

Call our toll-free number: 1-800-657-3591 (TDD/TTY, please call 711). This toll-free number operates out of the state office. The local phone number is (651) 431-2555. When calling for an ombudsman in any region, you will be directly transferred to that ombudsman.

Write to us at:
Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care
P.O. Box 64971
St. Paul, MN 55164-0971

Regional Ombudsman Directory

Consider Volunteering with the Ombudsman's Office

Volunteer Advocates and Volunteer Associates are trained visitors and problem-solvers who work in local nursing homes, housing with services residences and assisted living residences. Call the Office for information.