About Us

Ombudsman Program Core Principles

Man and woman

Solution Oriented

When consumers of long term care services are unable to resolve problems on their own, the Ombudsman will assist them to find a solution.


Complaints may be reported anonymously to the Ombudsman Program. The identity of persons making complaints and the person on whose behalf the complaint is being made will not be released without authorization from those individuals.

Resident Centered

The needs, rights, and concerns of the long term care recipient are the primary guide for the actions of the Ombudsman.


Established nationally under the Older Americans Act, which is administered by the Administration on Aging (AoA), the Ombudsman Program began in 1972. The Program is mandated to receive, investigate, and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of persons in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In Virginia, the General Assembly expanded the Program’s scope in 1983 to include community based long term care services provided by state and private agencies.

Virginia’s Program was originally established at the Virginia Department for the Aging. Action of the 1995 General Assembly transferred the Ombudsman Program from the Virginia Department for the Aging to the area agencies on aging. The Virginia Association of Area Agencies on Aging (V4A), a private non-profit organization, began management and operation of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program on July 1, 1995 under contract with the Virgnia Department for the Aging. The Program is funded through federal, state, local and charitable contributions.

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program consists of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman at V4A and 20 local offices located in area agencies on aging throughout the state providing direct service in their communities. In addition to the training and oversight of the local Ombudsman offices, duties of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman include:

  • Addressing systemic care problems through participation in committees, task forces, and advisory boards working on issues such as staffing, workforce development, survey and enforcements processes, long term care financing, and quality standards;
  • Analyzing and monitoring the development and implementation of laws, regulations, and policies that relate to the health, safety, welfare, and rights of long term care recipients; and
  • Collecting, reporting, and analyzing statewide Program data, trends and issues in long term care.