Long Term Care Ombudsman

The purpose of the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is to protect the federally mandated rights of residents of long-term care facilities. The program provides assistance to assure that each resident receives the highest quality of care and life while residing in the facility.


The client must be a resident of a long-term care facility.

Top 3 Goals

  1. To assure that each resident receives the rights to which she is entitled.
  2. To assure that each resident receives the highest quality of life and care.
  3. To recruit, train, certify and assign a volunteer ombudsman to meet the preceding two goals.

Explanation of Services

The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disabilities provides funds, disbursed under the Older Americans Act, to provide the necessary, trained ombudsman staff, paid and voluntary, to be in each long-term care facility on a regular schedule; to inform each resident and her family of the duties and authority of the ombudsman; to act, on behalf of the resident, to assure that her stay at the facility is as pleasant and rewarding as possible and to provide technical assistance to family and resident councils to enable them to advocate for issue changes which increases the likelihood of a pleasant and rewarding stay at the facility.

The ombudsman program offers technical assistance to the prospective resident and family of the resident to find a facility, to better understand how to finance long-term care and to find a facility which best meets the needs of the prospective resident. The ombudsman program works with the Department of Health, Department of Human Services, Adult Protective Services, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation to assure that the resident is protected at the facility and that she receives the best possible care while there.

Number of Persons Served

In the 16-county service area, there are 60 nursing homes and 160 assisted care living facilities and residential homes for the aged. Within these facilities, reside approximately 10,000 men and women. Each is our client and we monitor the care and life of each person.

For the past several years, an average of 100 residents each month has asked for our assistance in investigating and resolving a specific complaint. We have responded to each complaint and have resolved each to the satisfaction of the client.

Source of Funding

Federal funds are made available through the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability.

Counties Served

Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Monroe, Roane, Scott, Sevier and Union.

For Volunteer Opportunities CLICK HERE.

Click here to learn more about what an OMBUDSMAN is.

For More Information Please Contact: Lynette Edwards, J.D. (865) 691-2551 Ext. 4223 or by E-mail at LEdwards@ethra.org.