The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at ABLE works to uphold the rights of people who receive long-term care by investigating and resolving complaints about long-term care ranging from admission and discharge problems to abuse, neglect and violations of civil rights.

Defining Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is a crime. Help is available. Abuse of an elderly person can happen in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult group homes and other long-term care facilities. Abuse from a caregiver can also occur in private homes.

Indicators of Elder Abuse

Why does elder abuse and neglect happen? Many factors can contribute to an elder abuse situation. Sometimes, there is misunderstanding or ignorance on the part of the caregiver, such as when a long-term care staff person does not understand the effects of aging. In nursing homes, in particular, staff may be prone to commit elder abuse because of insufficient staffing, lack of training, or stressful working conditions.

Reporting Elder Abuse

How should you report elder abuse and neglect? Long-term care staff must report abuse and neglect violations according to facility policy. In most long-term care facilities, policy states that staff must report violations to the unit supervisor or administrator. State law requires the facility to report the abuse or neglect allegation to the Ohio Department of Health within 24 hours and complete an investigation within five days of the report.

Know Your Rights... As a Long-Term Care Resident

If you live in a nursing home or residential care facility, you have the same rights you would if you still lived in your own home. As a consumer of long-term care, you are entitled to a safe and healthy home, and the safekeeping of your belongings. You also have the right to be treated with dignity and consideration at all times.

Resident Rights Regarding Involuntary Discharge

Involuntary discharge from a facility is among the most common issues confronting residents and their families. The goal of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is to work toward resolution and ensure all avenues have been explored in an effort to prevent involuntary discharges.

Legal Assistance


Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) is a non-profit regional law firm that provides high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self-reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity. LAWO and Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) are partner organizations.