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Delaware Health and Social Services - State of Delaware

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

The Delaware Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program provides services for residents who reside in long-term care settings as well as those who live in other settings (such as their homes) and receive home and community-based services with access to advocacy, complaint investigation and resolution, facility monitoring visits, and witnessing of advance health care directives.

Under the federal Older Americans Act (OAA) every state is required to have an Ombudsman Program that addresses complaints and advocates for improvements in the long-term care system. Each state has an Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (Office), headed by a full-time State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (Ombudsman) who directs the program statewide. Across the nation, staff and thousands of volunteers are designated by State Ombudsmen as representatives to directly serve residents.

Ombudsman is a Swedish word that means advocate or representative of the people. In the Delaware Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, Ombudsman representatives empower and support residents by:

  • Protecting residents rights
  • Promoting dignity and choice
  • Meeting privately with residents
  • Assisting residents to identify and resolve concerns
  • Helping residents to file complaints and appeals
  • Connecting residents to legal and community services
  • Providing education on long-term care settings
  • Advocating for quality care

Effective immediately! All long-term care facilities must allow visitation, including during an outbreak. On November 12th, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its federal visitation guidance. That guidance requires long-term care facilities to allow indoor visitation "at all times and for all resident's..." View the CMS Current Guidance (updated March 10, 2021) and the CMS Nursing Home Visitation FAQ.

The Delaware Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is funded by the federal and state government. There is no cost to residents or families for Ombudsman services. All complaints are confidential.

Email the State Ombudsman:,
Contact the State Ombudsman:

Ombudsman Program Information