Ombudsman Program

Ombudsman Program

Ombudsman Program  is contributed by Walton Lawon May 30, 2024, as an online article at

What you should know about the ombudsman program in Washington state

When you place your loved one in a Washington state nursing home or go to live in an assisted living facility yourself, you expect proper care to be provided.

Unfortunately, some facilities are understaffed, and the caregivers may be overworked or inadequately trained. Neglect and abuse can happen, and it’s important to be alert to signs.

In some instances, nursing home residents or their loved ones can use free services available through the Washington State Long-Term Care Ombudsman program. This program advocates for residents in nursing homes, adult family homes and assisted living facilities in the state and promotes their rights under federal and state laws.

Washington State Long-term Care Ombudsman

The ombudsman office in Washington state was created to address complaints and advocate for improvements for residents within the long-term care system. Ombudsmen do the following:

  • Identify, investigate and resolve complaints related to actions or decisions that could adversely affect residents.
  • Coordinate with local and state agencies to develop referral procedures to refer complaints as need be to agencies.
  • Help residents and representatives guard the residents’ safety and health.
  • Let residents and representatives know about their rights and how to get services.
  • Ensure that residents and representatives receive timely, regular access to the program’s services, while also securing their privacy.

Attaining help from the ombudsman program

You may be able to access these free advocacy services if you are involved in the long-term care system in Washington state and you are:

  • The resident of a nursing home, adult family home, veteran’s home or assisted living facility
  • The relative or friend of someone in such a facility,
  • An employee or administrator of one of these facilities,
  • A person or group concerned about a resident’s welfare in a facility,
  • A community member.

Once notified of the situation, an advocate from the ombudsman office can speak directly to the nursing home or facility on your behalf. They can file a written grievance, voice your concerns at a resident council meeting and provide advice. Report your concern on the ombudsman hotline at 1-800-562-6028.

If additional help is needed, contact a local nursing home neglect attorney

Walton Law’s award-winning legal team is here to support and guide Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish and Island County seniors throughout the legal process, ensuring their rights are protected. We work on a contingency basis—we don’t get paid unless you win—and offer free and confidential consultations.

Live chat with a member of our team by visiting or call us at (360) 503-0231.

Walton Law, APC
Washington Office

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