An Older Woman in a Wheelchair with an Ombudsman

Ombudsman Program: Complaint Resolution

If you have a complaint or concern about the quality of your care, whether you are receiving care in your own home or in one of the 12 nursing homes in the Greater Lynn area, Cambridge, or Somerville, the state’s Ombudsman program can help.

The Long-term Care Ombudsman Program is staffed by GLSS volunteers who are trained and certified by the state.  These volunteers regularly visit every nursing and rest home in our area, as well as in Cambridge and Somerville, to check in with residents about their care and to make sure their rights are being respected.

The Community Care Ombudsman is a state-run program that helps people who are receiving care at home.

For a more detailed description of each program, please keep reading.

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman for Residents Living in Area Nursing and Rest Homes

If you live in a nursing or rest home, no matter your age, there is someone who will look out for your rights:The GLSS Long-Term Care Ombudsman.This free service was established by the federal government in 1973 to ensure quality care for nursing and rest home residents.The Ombudsman Program Director and trained, state-certified volunteers regularly visit all of the nursing and rest homes in our five-town area, as well as in Cambridge and Somerville. These Ombudsmen speak with residents about their care, make sure their rights are being respected, and work to resolve problems.

The program’s main goals are to:

  • Receive, investigate, and work to resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents of nursing and rest homes
  • Protect residents’ rights
  • Educate residents, families and providers about residents’ rights
  • Provide information and assist consumers in selecting a long-term care facility
  • Advocate for positive change in the long-term care system

When visiting nursing and rest homes, Ombudsmen observe the environment, check in with residents, and identify concerns.When appropriate, Ombudsmen work with residents, residents’ representatives, and facility staff to resolve complaints or concerns.Complaints are kept confidential, and no information is disclosed without a person’s consent.

A Long-Term Care Ombudsman is:

  • A good listener who keeps your confidences
  • An advocate who works to uphold your rights
  • A problem-solver who resolves complaints
  • A source of information and referral
  • A specially trained and certified person

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman can help you with:

  • Information and resources when choosing a nursing home
  • Complaints or problems regarding:
    • Residents’ rights
    • Quality of life
    • Quality of care
    • Medicare/Medicaid
    • Living conditions
    • Food
    • Medical services
    • Residents’ funds
    • Social activities
    • Transfers and discharges
    • And much more!

Who is this program for?

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program assists adults of all ages living in area nursing or rest homes who seek help for problems with or complaints about their care.  It is a free, state-sponsored service.

Where can I get more information?

If you or someone you care about is in a nursing home or you would like information about nursing home-related topics, please call the Ombudsman Program Director at 781-586-8548.

To learn more about aging services in Massachusetts, call 1-800-243-4636 or visit

Who is this program for?

The Community Care Ombudsman Program assists people age 60 and older who seek help for problems with health or social services received at home or in the community, including home health care, homemaker services, and adult day care.  It is a free, state-sponsored service.

Where can I get more information?

Call 1-800-AGE-INFO (1-800-243-4636) or visit to learn more about aging services in Massachusetts.

The Community Care Ombudsman for Residents Receiving Care at Home

If you or someone you know is age 60 years or older, receiving care at home or in the community, and seeking help for a problem with his or her care, they should call the state’s Community Care Ombudsman:1-800-AGE-INFO (1-800-243-4636) and Prompt #5 for Complaints.

The Community Care Ombudsman:

  • Responds to inquiries from elders and their families
  • Educates consumers about their rights and responsibilities
  • Counsels consumers about concerns with their services
  • Refers consumers to appropriate sources for help
  • Investigates and resolves complaints through mediation

Program Brochure

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Brochure

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

To download, click the brochure for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.