City Of Chicago Recruits Ombudsmen To Improve Nursing Home Care For Patients

If you’re looking for a great way to get involved in improving the quality of nursing home care, I suggest becoming part of the ombudsman program in your area.

Chicago Recruits Ombudsmen To Improve Nursing Home CareOmbudsman provide a vital link between nursing home patients and facility staff.  Unlike complaints made to a state’s department of health which tend to be serious in their nature, ombudsman are a conduit to resolving many commonly encountered problems that may be addressed relatively easily.

In addition to resolving grievances and answering questions, ombudsman can also help improve patient safety when they notice abusive care or dangerous living conditions at a facility.

In Chicago, The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) announced a new initiative to recruit volunteer ombudsman to fill the important position.

“It is estimated that nearly 60 percent of residents in Long Term Care facilities never receive a visitor,” said Mary Ellen Caron, Ph.D., commissioner of Chicago Department of Family and Supportive Services.  “Becoming a Volunteer Ombudsman allows Chicagoans the opportunity to improve the quality of life for seniors in their community by providing support and friendship to individuals who have limited resources.”

Ombudsman can serve patients in the nursing homes within their community or in any area of the city they choose after they complete a training program and become certified by the Illinois Department on Aging.  Coursework will include:

  • An overview of the aging process and the people who live in nursing homes
  • Federal and state regulations of Long Term Care facilities
  • Residents’ rights
  • An overview of the organizational structure of the long term setting
  • Communication and interviewing techniques
  • Principals for reporting poor care

If you are interesting in becoming active in this very worthwhile program, call (312) 744-4016 or visit

For laws related to Illinois nursing homes, look here.

The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Center

How can nursing home ombudsmen help with problems encountered in a long-term care facility?

Are nursing home patients protected under federal law?

Nursing Home Watchdogs: Ombudsmen


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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric