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Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCO)

Ensuring dignity. Protecting rights. Changing lives.

Misson: Our Long Term Care Ombudsman Program advocates for rights, dignity and independence for nursing home residents.

We serve people living in nursing homes, personal care homes and family care homes. Our staff and volunteers visit about 1,700 frail and elderly people living in our local nursing homes at least quarterly. Many of these people have no one else to visit or check on them. We inform people and families about resident’s rights. We advocate for quality care and work to resolve problems. We provide a voice for those who otherwise would have none.

    The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program has several goals including:
  • Identifying, investigating and resolving complaints made by or on behalf of residents
  • Providing information to residents about long-term care services
  • Representing the interest of residents before governmental agencies and seeking administrative, legal and other remedies to protect residents
  • Educating and informing consumers and the general public about long-term care issues and concerns
  • Providing technical support to develop resident and family councils that protect the wellbeing and rights of residents
  • Advocating for changes to improve residents’ quality of life and care

The ombudsman program plays a vital role in ensuring that all residents are given dignity and respect. The success of the program is directly related to the volunteers that provide support each day in making sure that rights are protected. The Ombudsman Program has a number of volunteer opportunities that make an immediate impact to improving the lives of nursing home residents. Learn more about volunteering


Do you have questions about long-term care? See below for answers to some frequently asked questions or call us at 859-431-8200.

Q: Can the nursing home just kick me out?
Q: Can you help me find a nursing home for my relative?
Q: My loved one needs nursing home care but she doesn’t have the money to pay for it. What can we do?
Q: What rights does my loved one have while living in a nursing home?

Q: Can the nursing home just kick me out? A: All nursing homes and personal care homes must issue a 30-day written notice before a discharge can take place. If you have been in the nursing home less than 30 days, the notice must be “as soon as practicable”. Also, the notice must be as soon as practicable if your situation involves a health care emergency or if residents or staff in the facility are in danger.

Q: Can you help me find a nursing home for my relative? A: Making the decision to move into a nursing home or other long-term care facility is a new experience for most people. We can provide information that will help you know what questions to ask and how to evaluate the answers when talking to nursing homes about placement. We can also help you locate available information on facilities. A consumer guide to locating a nursing home and other services may be obtained through the following websites: www.nccnhr.org/public/ www.medicare.com/pub_downloads.asp
FInd comparative information on nursing homes here

Q: My loved one needs nursing home care but she doesn’t have the money to pay for it. What can we do? A: If your mother has less than $2000 in resources, i.e. money in the bank and other liquid resources, you can apply for Long Term Care Medicaid. Medicaid is a needs based program and can assist with paying for her care at the nursing home as well as medical care that she receives outside of the nursing home. Once she has lived in the nursing home for a period of 30 days, you can visit the local Department for Community Based Services office and complete an application for long term care Medicaid. If she is awarded the benefit, she will still have to pay for some of her care. This is called a patient liability amount and will be based on her income.

Q: What rights does my loved one have while living in a nursing home? A: A person living in a long-term care facility maintains the same rights as an individual living in the community. However, there are other rights guaranteed to them by law. For a complete list of Resident Rights, visit: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/statutes/statute.aspx?id=9061 http://www.lrc.ky.gov/statutes/statute.aspx?id=9062 http://chfs.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/42F448AB-22D4-4329-A519-9C58D9277E9B/0/ResidentRightsBookletpdf.pdf