Ombudsmen Advocate for Oregonians Living in Long-Term Care


The Long-Term Care Ombudsman is a state agency that advocates long-term care residents in a time when it is difficult to visit loved ones.

STATEWIDE – Oregonians living in assisted living communities and nursing homes have faced a challenging year with the impact the COVID-19 virus has directly had in long term care settings. To remind these Oregonians that a state program exists to exclusively support them, the Oregon Long-Term Care Ombudsman has released a 30-second and 3-minute PSA statewide in an effort to make sure residents and their family members know how to access Ombudsman services.

Residents living and receiving care in long-term care facilities maintain their rights and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there continues to be confusion regarding these rights that protect individual dignity, choice, and self-determination. COVID-19 has spotlighted the need for Long Term Care Ombudsman services in a time when it is difficult to visit loved ones residing in long-term care.

The Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman is an independent state agency that was established to represent those who reside in long term care, including nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, residential care facilities, adult foster care homes, and memory care settings.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, Certified Ombudsmen have continued to advocate for Oregonians living in long-term care. Though the approaches are a little different than they have been in the past, staff and  volunteer Ombudsmen are still working to stay in contact with residents and staff, and are resolving issues using the resources available.

Fred Steele, Director and Oregon’s State Long Term Care Ombudsman says, “In this unprecedented crisis, we want residents to know they have someone to call on. We can only advocate for someone or something if we know about it. Even if we can’t be there in person, we can investigate and work to resolve issues.”

We are asking for your help during this time. Please share our videos with friends and family who need to hear about our services. You can also consider volunteering. Ombudsmen are going to be needed more than ever when facilities open up again. Applications are being accepted now for those who want to become Volunteer Certified Ombudsmen.

There is a Deputy on Duty available weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To report a concern at a long-term care facility, or to learn more about volunteering, call 1-800-522-2602 or visit

For the Volunteer Long-Term Care Certified Ombudsman application (The LTCO program advocates for elderly or disabled residents in assisted living and residential care facilities, nursing facilities (including memory care), and adult foster homes.): click here.

Attend the ‘virtual open house’ webinar about volunteering for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program –  Register Here!

About Author

Fred Steele is the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman & Agency Directorat the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman.

Comments are closed.