Ombudsman Program

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The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

434 7th Street
(707) 269-1330
Fax: (707) 269-1331

Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly List Skilled Nursing Facilities List

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is mandated in the federal Older Americans Act and the state Older Californians Act, and sponsored by the Area 1 Agency on Aging.  It is a community-supported program, built largely of volunteers who are trained and certified to advocate for the rights of residents of skilled nursing and residential care facilities.

The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (OSLTCO) and its local coordinators are responsible for recruiting, training, and supervising the volunteer Ombudsman representatives, who then perform regular on-site visits to long-term care facilities.  An “Ombudsman” is a trained and certified advocate.

Ombudsman advocacy roles take two forms: 1) to receive and resolve individual complaints and issues by, or on behalf of, residents and patients of long-term care facilities; and 2) to pursue resident advocacy in the long-term care system, its laws, policies, regulations, and administration through public education and consensus building.

It is the primary responsibility of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program to investigate and endeavor to resolve elder abuse complaints made by, or on behalf of, individual residents in long-term care facilities. These facilities include nursing homes and residential care facilities for the elderly.

The local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is overseen by the Area 1 Agency on Aging and is located at 434 7th Street. 

To report concerns or complaints about the quality of care residents receive or other problems that affect residents of long-term care facilities, file directly by 1) calling (707) 269-1330, 2) sending an email to:, or 3) calling the Statewide CRISISline at 1-800-231-4024 if immediate attention is needed.  The Statewide CRISISline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Ombudsman services are free and confidential. Contact the Ombudsman Program for the following resident services:

  • Questions or concerns about quality of care
  • Questions or concerns about financial abuse
  • Suspected physical, mental or emotional abuse of residents
  • Witnessing services for Advance Health Care Directives (For Skilled Nursing home residents only.)
  • Requesting an Ombudsman to attend a resident care plan meeting 
  • Requesting an Ombudsman to attend a resident or family council meeting


Hands stacking on top of each other

Mission Statement for the Ombudsman:
‘Our Mandate and Mission is to advocate for dignity, quality of life, and quality of care for all residents in long-term care facilities”

WHAT:  You can change a life with just a few hours each month.

WHO:  YOU - Become an Ombudsman.  We are highly trained advocates for residents living in Skilled Nursing Homes and Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly.

WHY: Ombudsman advocate for residents of long term care facilities in Humboldt and Del Norte counties; we empower those who are able to protect their own rights, we assist those who are unable to speak for themselves and we educate the community about the rights of the frail elderly.

HOW: Ombudsman are State-certified volunteers trained to objectively investigate complaints and solve problems for residents.  The Ombudsman makes regular visits to the long term care facilities to monitor the quality of care provided to these residents. When necessary we work closely with regulatory agencies and local law enforcement agencies.

WHEN: We ask that volunteers commit to visiting their assigned facilities a minimum of twice per month for the Skilled Nursing facilities and minimally once per month for the Assisted Living facilities. The schedule is set by the volunteer.

There is mandated 36 hour classroom/home study training along with an additional 10 hours working in the facility with a senior volunteer.

If you are interested in helping these special seniors please call:

Ombudsman Program
Suzi Fregeau


Frequently Asked Questions

Residential Care in California: Unsafe, Unregulated & Unaccountable (A special report by: California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform)

Protecting residents from financial eploitation (A manual for assisted living and nursing facilities)

Vignettes (pending update)

More about the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (pending update)

Federal Mandate

State Mandate

The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (OSLTCO)

Area 1 Agency on Aging

Humboldt Senior Resource Center

Ombudsman Training (pending update)

Advance Health Care Directives