What’s an Ombudsman?
An ombudsman (pronounced: ahm-BUDDZ-min) is an advocate – think of them as a very helpful friend – for the residents of nursing homes. The ombudsman is a civil servant, often a volunteer, who is trained to resolve problems related to the health, safety, welfare, and rights of individuals who live in long-term care facilities, including nursing homes. The services provided by the ombudsman are free and confidential. The LTC Ombudsman Program was enacted with the Older Americans Act of 1965 and is administered at the state level by the Maryland Administration on Aging.
What Services Does the Ombudsman Provide?
An ombudsman can help to investigate and resolve issues large and small, and they do so with the help of the resident or on their behalf. They can keep the resident's name confidential if they so choose. A law firm that specializes in nursing home abuse or neglect, like Brown & Barron, can help you with situations that result in serious injuries or even death, but an ombudsman can help you with a variety of important issues that affect the quality of life at a nursing home, including:
- Poor staff attitudes: help address situations where the residents are not being treated appropriately or with dignity and respect.
- Food/nutrition: help improve the quality and variety of the food served at a nursing home.
- Lack of responsiveness (call bells, etc.) help address situations where the staff are not answering when called or not responding fast enough.
- Personal hygiene (hair and nail care, etc.) help to make sure that grooming, such as hair and nails, are done well and with regularity.
Who can contact a Maryland Ombudsman?
Residents of a nursing home or members of their support system (friends, family members, facility staff, and others) can contact the Maryland Ombudsman Program to communicate concerns related to long-term care facilities and to ensure residents receive the quality of care they deserve. You do not need a legal connection (e.g., power of attorney) to the resident to get help from an ombudsman.
How Do I Contact an Ombudsman?
Contact your local ombudsman at the phone number below for the county in which the resident currently resides.
County: Phone Number
- Allegany County: 301-777-5970
- Anne Arundel County: 410-222-4464
- Baltimore City 410-396-3144
- Baltimore County: 410-887-4200
- Calvert County: 410-535-4606, ext. 122
- Caroline County: 410-778-6000
- Carroll County: 410-386-3800
- Cecil County: 410-996-8429
- Charles County: 301-932-6004
- Dorchester County: 410-742-0505, ext. 104
- Frederick County: 301-600-2877
- Garrett County: 301-334-9431
- Harford County: 410-638-3025
- Howard County: 410-313-6423
- Kent County: 410-778-6000
- Montgomery County: 240-777-3369
- Prince George’s County: 301-265-8483
- Queen Anne’s County: 410-758-0848
- Somerset County: 410-742-0505, ext. 104
- St. Mary’s County: 301-475-4200
- Talbot County: 410-778-6000
- Washington County: 301-790-0275