The Long Term Care Ombudsman program is a federally funded program that protects the rights of all people in nursing homes and rest homes. Specially trained volunteers and staff visit each nursing facility and rest home in the City of Boston on a regular basis and meet with residents and their families.


Ombudsmen work with residents on quality of life issues such as timely response by nursing facility staff to requests for assistance, facility cleanliness and meals. While Ombudsmen do not directly respond to clinical care issues, they may refer questions of this type to the Department of Public Health.

Ombudsmen also contribute to the Department of Public Health inspections that are completed on every long-term care facility.

To contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at Ethos, call 617.477.6615 or click here to email us.


For more information about individual facilities and see the results of these inspections and resident satisfaction surveys, click here:

National Data Highlight Extensive Services Provided to Persons Living in Long-Term Care Facilities

Program data for FY 2011 indicate that long-term care ombudsman services to residents were provided by 1,186 full-time equivalent staff and 9065 volunteers, trained and certified to investigate and resolve complaints. These volunteers and paid ombudsmen:

  • Worked to resolve 204,044 complaints, opening 134,775 new cases (a case contains one or more complaints originating from the same person(s)).
  • Resolved or partially resolved 73% of all complaints to the satisfaction of the resident or complainant.
  • Provided 289,668 consultations to individuals
  • Visited 70% of all nursing homes and 33% of all board and care, assisted living and similar homes at least quarterly.
  • Conducted 5,144 training sessions in facilities on such topics as residents’ rights.
  • Provided 114,033 consultations to long-term care facility managers and staff and participated in 20,958 resident council and 3,321 family council meetings.

The five most frequent nursing facility complaints in 2011 were:

  • Improper eviction or inadequate discharge planning;
  • Lack of respect for residents, poor staff attitudes;
  • Medications – administration, organization; and
  • Resident conflict, including roommate to roommate.

The five most frequent board and care and similar facilities complaints were:

  • Quality, quantity, variation and choice of food;
  • Medications – administration, organization;
  • Inadequate or no discharge/eviction notice or planning;
  • Equipment or building hazards; and
  • Lack of respect for residents, poor staff attitudes.