Ombudsman Program

What is the Ombudsman Program?

The Ombudsman Program is an advocacy program that protects the health, safety, welfare, and civil rights of people living in nursing homes and adult care facilities. Our Certified Ombudsmen advocate for residents’ rights and ensure that their unmet needs and complaints are resolved.

What is an Ombudsman?

Ombudsman are trained and certified volunteer advocates who are passionate about the well-being of people living in nursing homes or adult care facilities. They can help resolve your complaints, provide information about your rights, and advocate on your behalf for high standards of quality care.

There will be a Long-Term Care Ombudsman Training on September 6, 8, 9, and 13 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day.

If you are interested in becoming an Ombudsman, please contact Jeff Parker at


Your Stories: Judy

7 - Judy Fox

“It’s an honor that I’m able to go and give people assistance,” says Judy, a volunteer with our
Ombudsman Program in Cayuga County. Judy has been a volunteer all her life, beginning when she was
sixteen. She has always had a desire to be involved in the community and has given her time to causes
that are close to her heart. In addition to volunteering with Easter Seals, Girl Scouts, teaching English
as a Second Language, and being a child care advocate for the Auburn City Schools, she has also been
involved in serving veterans. Judy had been interested in being an Ombudsman for a while, and when
her kids went off to college three years ago, she was finally able to make it happen.

The Ombudsman Program is a national initiative established through the Elder Americans Act.
Advocacy-based, the purpose is to have volunteers checking in on residents in facilities. Volunteers are
there to socialize, listen, and act on any of the concerns raised by residents. Many residents don’t have
local family that can visit them as often as needed, or at all. Trained Ombudsman volunteers spend a few
hours each week in the facilities. The program is built on confidentiality. The residents are free to share
their concerns with the Ombudsman. Residents then choose whether they want their concerns brought to the administration.

Judy visits the residents at her designated facility twice a week, and more if she can. She’s a social
person and tries to brighten everyone’s day. “When someone sees you smile, they want to do the same.
You might be the highlight of their day,” she says. “The best thing I can do for someone is to give them my time and my patience.”

ARISE has overseen the Ombudsman Program in Cayuga County for several years and now oversees
the program in Onondaga, Oswego, and Cortland counties as well. If you are interested in learning more,
call (315) 671-5108.