Be a Volunteer Ombudsman

Do you want to make a difference in the lives of others?

Do you believe that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect?

Do you want to help others make informed choices about where they live and the care they receive?

Volunteer to be a Long-Term Care Ombudsman Associate!

Ombudsman Associates are volunteer advocates who provide a voice for the concerns of long-term care consumers who are living in their own homes, nursing homes or assisted living. Volunteers are one of the most valued resources of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.

Volunteers make regular visits, observe conditions and engage residents in conversation to learn about problems or concerns consumers may have regarding care and services. In nursing homes and assisted living facilities, volunteers observe conditions and care and inform residents about their rights. For consumers who choose to receive care in their own homes, volunteers talk to consumers about their caregivers and services they receive.

Ombudsman volunteers:

Provide information to residents, family and staff about the Ombudsman program and resident rights;

Resolve uncomplicated complaints;

Work with Ombudsman staff to investigate and resolve more complicated complaints and issues;

Inform and support state and regional policy advocacy; and

Work with resident councils.

Want to learn more about becoming a Long-Term Care Ombudsman Associate?

Contact our office or visit our website for additional information. Our regional program serves Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain & Medina counties. We will equip you with free certification training.

  • Call our office at 1-800-365-3112 or 216-696-2719

  • Visit our website:

  • Email: Barbara Prociak at

Become a Volunteer Ombudsman Today!
(Already volunteering with LTCO? Visit the Ombudsman Associates page to download advocacy forms)
Becoming a volunteer with Long Term Care Ombudsman is easy and rewarding! The work our volunteers do is important, and we are always looking for new team members! To volunteer with us, just complete the following forms. Download forms and mail to LTCO, or complete electronically and email to

 *Conflict of Interest Form must be signed and mailed in as a hard copy. Electronic copies will not be accepted.


Volunteer ombudsmen must complete 14 hours of initial training (provided for free by LTCO), and continue to get 6 hours of continuing education annually.

What Our Volunteers Do serves five counties, containing nearly 500 facilities which have 28,000 residents. Because there are only five staff ombudsmen, LTCO relies on the work of our 50+ volunteers who provide much of the actual contact with consumers and advocate on their behalf. After a period of training, volunteer ombudsmen work with consumers receiving long term care, listening to and investigating their concerns, advocating and negotiating on their behalf, and helping them maintain their independence and the highest practicable quality of life.

Volunteer ombudsmen build relationships with consumers, helping to ensure that their rights are respected and their needs are met. They encourage consumers to tell about about issues that the consumer is facing - even the smallest problems can point to larger issues that need to be addressed.

Like most of us, long term care consumers are usually more comfortable speaking with people whom they have gotten to know over time. Staff and volunteer ombudsmen can investigate issues while maintaining the consumer’s confidentiality to protect them from any ramifications that the consumer might fear would result from complaining directly to their caregivers or resident facilities.

Half of all people living in long term care facilities have no family. Sixty percent never have any visitors. Without the visits and attention of an ombudsman, no one might ever notice or address the issues that these vulnerable consumers face, and no one would advocate for their human needs and legal rights. While the worst cases of abuse occasionally make headlines, most issues would be invisible if ombudsmen were not available to address them.

We ask that volunteers visit their assigned facilities at least once a quarter, and preferably a minimum of once a month. Most volunteers usually work two or more hours each month visiting people in long term care facilities to monitor the quality of their care and their life, and handling complaints related to care. The hours are flexible, and volunteers are needed to visit consumers during the day, at lunchtime, before work, after work, after dinner, or on weekends.

Other LTCO volunteers help with marketing and fundraising, and some go out into the community to represent LTCO at events and health fairs, talking about our services and sharing their experiences.

You Can Benefit From Volunteering

Volunteers must earn 6 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) per year. To make earning them easy, LTCO provides four free opportunities a year, worth a total of 12 points, in sessions held in our office. There are also quarterly meetings with special training topics held out in each quadrant of our service area. We also refer volunteers to other free CEU courses offered in the community to help expand and extend learning and understanding of the long term care service system.

You can learn valuable career skills as an LTCO volunteer. You will fulfill documented, measurable objectives. You will learn how to negotiate and how to mediate conflicts.

Most of all, you can benefit from the satisfaction of doing good and helping people. You will also enhance your own understanding of how the long term care system works. This knowledge will help you when you or your loved ones experience long term care.