Skip to content

Join the Summer of Service to SeniorsSM - sign AARP Foundation's banner

 
LCE Client, Ms. M

The Office of the D.C. Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (DCLTCOP)

The Office of the D.C. Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (DCLTCOP) is an important part of Legal Counsel for the Elderly. DCLTCOP is an advocate and resource for persons who reside in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living and community residence facilities. The program also provides advocacy services to individuals receiving services through the Elder and Persons with Physical Disabilities (EPD) Medicaid Waiver. Ombudsmen help residents and their families understand and exercise their rights and effectively address concerns which impact their health, safety and quality of life.  The program advocates for older adults and persons with disabilities at both the individual and systems levels by receiving, investigating and resolving complaints made by or on behalf of residents, promoting the development of resident and family councils, and informing governmental agencies, providers and the general public about issues and concerns impacting recipients of long-term care services and supports.

Program History

The ombudsman program concept for long-term care facilities began in 1971 when President Richard Nixon called for the establishment of independent units to investigate the poor quality in nursing homes as well as abuses of nursing home residents’ rights.

In the District of Columbia, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program was established in 1975 to ensure rights of persons living in nursing homes and community residence facilities through community concern and action.

The Older Americans Act Amendment of 1978 mandated the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program for every state. The 1981 amendments to the Older American Act authorized the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program to serve residents of community residence facilities.

As of Oct. 1, 2012, the ombudsman program expanded its scope of advocacy services to include District residents receiving home and community-based services in their private homes through the D.C. Medicaid Elderly and Persons with Physical Disabilities (EPD) Waiver

 Ombudsman Services

  • Advocate for the rights of older persons and other persons receiving long-term care services in the District of Columbia;
  • Investigate and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of an older person or other persons receiving long-term care services;
  • Educate and empower residents to understand and exercise their rights
  • All confidential, resident-centered, and free of charge.

Home and Community-Based Services

As of Oct. 1, 2012, the ombudsman program expanded its scope of advocacy services to include District residents receiving home and community-based services in their private homes through the D.C. Medicaid Elderly and Persons with Physical Disabilities (EPD) Waiver

Volunteers/Legal Interns

The ombudsman program volunteers and legal interns strengthen and augment the advocacy efforts for District residents receiving long-term care services in nursing homes, assisted living residences and community residential facilities. Trained volunteer ombudsmen regularly visit long-term care facilities, monitor conditions and care, and provide a voice for those unable to speak for themselves. Volunteers must complete a certification training program and submit to a background check.

Volunteers provide assistance in the following activities and events:

  • Resident visitation (not complaint-related visits);
  • Work with resident and family councils;
  • Community education;
  • Expositions/symposiums/seminars/conferences.

Contact

  • Long-Term Care Helpline: 202-434-2190
  • Home and Community-Based Services Helpline: 202-434-2160
  • Volunteer Opportunities: 202-434-2190
  • Email: DCOmbuds@aarp.org

Calls and emails are responded to within 24 hours or the next business day.

Mailing Address

Legal Counsel for the Elderly
The Office of the D.C. Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
601 E St. NW
Washington, DC 20049-0001

Additional Resources