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The Kentucky Long-Term Care Ombudsman program advocates for residents of nursing homes, personal care homes and family care homes. Ombudsmen work to resolve problems of individual residents and bring about improvements in care through changes at the local, state and national levels.

While most residents receive good care in long-term care facilities, far too many are neglected and suffer psychological, physical and other types of abuse. Kentucky has more than 80 trained volunteer ombudsmen who regularly visit long-term care facilities, monitor conditions and care and provide a voice for those unable to speak for themselves.

First launched in 1972 as a demonstration program, the ombudsman program today operates in all states as a provision of the Older Americans Act administered by the federal Administration on Aging.

Since 1978, Kentucky Long-Term Care Ombudsmen have served residents of long-term care facilities in all 120 counties. Services of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman program are coordinated through the Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman. The program also oversees 15 district programs affiliated with Area Agencies on Aging and Independent Living. The program receives federal, state and local funding and does not charge for services.

Responsibilities

The responsibilities of long-term care ombudsmen include:

  • Identifying, investigating and resolving complaints made by or on behalf of residents;
  • Providing information to residents about long-term care services;
  • Representing the interest of residents before governmental agencies and seeking administrative, legal and other remedies to protect residents;
  • Analyzing, commenting on and recommending changes in laws and regulations pertaining to the health, safety, welfare and rights of residents;
  • Educating and informing consumers and the general public about long-term care issues and concerns and facilitating public comment on laws, regulations, policies and actions;
  • Promoting development of citizen organizations to participate in the program;
  • Providing technical support to develop resident and family councils that protect the well-being and rights of residents; and
  • Advocating for changes to improve residents’ quality of life and care.

Complaint Resolution Process

When complaints and problems with long-term care, services, facilities or other matters arise, try first to resolve concerns with the health care provider. Often, your expression of concern can prompt solutions and improvements.

If problems cannot be resolved with the health care provider, the certified ombudsman serving the county where the facility is located can help you. Fifteen ombudsmen districts across the state serve residents and their families and provide assistance resolving problems and concerns. Please see our regional map to locate contact information for the ombudsman in your district.

Complaints are treated confidentially and you will control the complaint process and determine the extent to which ombudsmen become involved in resolving your problem. Ombudsmen and program staff will not act without consulting you.

An ombudsman first investigates complaints to verify and document reports. The findings of investigations are shared with the complaining party. Ombudsmen explain options for resolving concerns to residents and families and help find solutions. Ombudsmen will only take action that is authorized by residents and their families.

Ombudsmen follow-up on resolved problems to ensure agreements remain in effect and additional problems do not arise.

Ombudsmen do not disclose the identity of residents or family members reporting complaints without their consent, unless ordered to do so by a court. When an ombudsman is unable to resolve a complaint without revealing the identity of the complaining party, the person making the complaint may decide whether the ombudsman proceeds in efforts to resolve a complaint.

Standard Operating Procedures
1. Introduction
2. Program Structure
3. Designation
4. De-Designation
5. Certification
6. Refusal to Certify and De-Designation
7. Administration Roles Responsibilities
8. State LTCO Responsibilities
9. State LTCO Responsibilities - Residents
10. State LTCO Responsibilities - District
11. State LTCO Responsibilities - AAAIL
12. State LTCO Responsibilities - Provider
13. AAAIL Responsibilities
14. Provider Responsibilities
15. Conflicts of Interest
16. Records
17. Documentation Info System
18. Liability
19. Regional LTCO Responsibilities
20. Interference Retaliation
21. District LTCO Specific Responsibilities
22. Advisory Councils
23. Complaint Investigation
24. Complaint Resolution
25. Confidentiality
26. Investigation Documentation
27. Referrals
28. Training
29. Monitoring
30. Grievance Process
31. Monitoring

map of Kentucky showing Long-term Care Ombudsman Districts

Sherry Culp, State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
3138 Custer Drive, Suite 110
Lexington, KY 40517
(800) 372-2991
(859) 277-9215
Fax: (859) 272-0060
Email

Mark Burress, Western Kentucky Regional Ombudsman
3138 Custer Drive, Suite 110
Lexington, KY 40517
(800) 372-2991
(859) 277-9215
Fax: (859) 272-0060
Email

LTC Districts served: Barren River, Green River, Lincoln Trail, KIPDA, Pennyrile, and Purchase

Jodi Holsclaw, Eastern Kentucky Regional Ombudsman
3138 Custer Drive, Suite 110
Lexington, KY 40517
(800) 372-2991
(859) 277-9215
Fax: (859) 272-0060
Email

LTC Districts served: Big Sandy, Bluegrass, Buffalo Trace, Cumberland Valley, FIVCO, Gateway, Kentucky River, Lake Cumberland, and Northern Kentucky

Lynda Love, District Ombudsman
c/o Kentucky Legal Aid
1700 Destiny Lane
Bowling Green, KY 42104
(270) 780-8835
(800) 355-7580
Fax: (270) 782-1993
Email

Counties served: Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson, Warren

Tara Little, District Ombudsman
Big Sandy ADD
110 Resource Drive
Prestonsburg, KY 41653
(606) 886-2374, ext. 335
(800) 737-2723, ext. 335
Fax: (606) 886-3382
Email

Counties served: Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin, Pike

Denise Wells, District Ombudsman
Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass, Inc.
3138 Custer Drive, Suite 110 
Lexington, KY 40517
(859) 277-9215
(877) 787-0077
Fax: (859) 272-0060 

Counties served: Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Estill, Fayette, Franklin, Garrard, Harrison, Jessamine, Lincoln, Madison, Mercer, Nicholas, Powell, Scott, Woodford
Amanda Grooms, District Ombudsman
Buffalo Trace ADD
201 Government St., Suite 300
Maysville, KY 41056
(606) 564-6894
(800) 998-4347
Fax: (606) 564-0955 

Counties served: Bracken, Fleming, Lewis, Mason, Robertson
Arlene Gibson, District Ombudsman
Cumberland Valley ADD
PO Box 1740
London, KY 40743
(606) 864-7391
(800) 795-7654
Fax: (606) 878-7361 

Counties served: Bell, Clay, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Rockcastle, Whitley
Amanda Hamilton, District Ombudsman
C/O Legal Aid of the Bluegrass
1616 Greenup Ave., Ste 1
Ashland, KY 41101
(606) 329-1321, ext. 2323
(800) 274-5863
Fax: (606) 783-1342 

Counties served: Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup, Lawrence
Sara Waynanne Caudill, District Ombudsman
Legal Aid of the Bluegrass
546 E. Main St.
Morehead, KY 40351
(606) 784-8921, ext. 2124
(800) 274-5863 
Fax: (606) 783-1342

Counties served: Bath, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Rowan
Sheila Howard, District Ombudsman
Green River ADD
300 GRADD Way
Owensboro, KY 42301
(270) 926-4433
(800) 928-9094
Fax: (270) 684-0714

Counties served: Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union, Webster
Natalie Brown-Radtke, District Ombudsman
Catholic Charities Agency
2911 S. 4th St.
Louisville, KY 40208
(502) 637-9786
(800) 854-3233
Fax: (502) 637-9780

Counties served: Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble
Sheila Cornett, District Ombudsman
Kentucky River ADD
PO Box 239
Hazard, KY 41701
(606) 436-3158
(800) 928-5723
Fax: (606) 436-2144

Counties served: Breathitt, Knott, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Owsley, Perry, Wolfe
Mandy Weston, District Ombudsman
Lake Cumberland ADD
2384 Lakeway Drive
Post Office Box 1570
Russell Springs, KY 42642
(270) 866-4200
(800) 264-7093
Fax: (270) 866-2044

Counties served: Adair, Casey, Clinton, Cumberland, Green, McCreary, Pulaski, Russell, Taylor, Wayne
Katrina Valliant, District Ombudsman
Lincoln Trail ADD
PO Box 604
Elizabethtown, KY 42702
(270) 769-2393
(800) 264-0393
Fax: (270) 769-2993

Counties served: Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, Larue, Marion, Meade, Nelson, Washington
Bethany Breckel, District Ombudsman
Northern Kentucky Area Development District
22 Spiral Drive
Florence, KY 41042
(859) 283-8185
(866) 766-2372
Fax: (859) 283-8178

Counties served: Boone, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen, Pendleton
Cindy Tabor, District Ombudsman
Pennyrile ADD
300 Hammond Drive
Hopkinsville, KY 42240
(270) 886-9484
(800) 928-7233
Fax: (270) 886-3211 

Counties served: Caldwell, Christian, Crittenden, Hopkins, Livingston, Lyon, Muhlenberg, Todd, Trigg
Susan Caldwell-Black, District Ombudsman
Purchase ADD
PO Box 588
Mayfield, KY 42066
(270) 251-6120
(877) 352-5183
Fax: (270) 251-6110

Counties served: Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Hickman, Graves, Marshall, McCracken