Ombudsman Services

What is Ombudsman?

Ombudsman is a Swedish word that means “citizen representative”. In South Carolina, an Ombudsman provides advocacy and assistance to the residents in long-term care facilities.

How does the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program work for me?

Residents of long term care facilities can experience problems or miscommunications related to their quality of care. Many of these individuals are elderly or frail. They may feel alone, and not seek help or not be aware that there is assistance available to them.

But there is help. The Ombudsman Program offers a way for residents and their families, as well as others, to voice their concerns and have their complaints addressed.

Concerns addressed by the Ombudsman may include issues of nutrition, care planning, financial issues or disputes, resident's rights, privacy and confidentiality, visitation rights, or issues related to discharge and transfers.

Ombudsman services are free. For more information, call the Catawba Area Agency on Aging at (803) 329-9670, or toll-free at (800) 662-8330.

The LTC Ombudsman Program is governed by the Older American’s Act and by South Carolina law. The SC Department on Aging administers the statewide LTC Ombudsman Program through regional offices located throughout the state. These programs are affiliated with Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) and funded with federal and state dollars.