Speak to an Ombudsman Representative About a Complaint

Speak to an Ombudsman Representative About a Complaint

An Ombudsman Representative is an advocate for residents of nursing homes, rest homes and assisted living residences, providing a means to voice their complaints and concerns so they can live with dignity and respect.

Anyone can bring a complaint to the Ombudsman Program. The complaint can be on behalf of a specific resident or on behalf of a group of residents.

Many complaints may not be a violation of regulations but are nonetheless issues affecting the quality of life of an individual living in their home.  For example, a resident may have a particular routine or preference, likes and dislikes, or requests that advocacy may address.  Sometimes, issues can be resolved with a phone call or a visit, or even a meeting with appropriate staff to discuss the concern.  Other times serious issues or regulatory violations may be brought to the Department of Public Health or the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, which oversees nursing and rest home care, and care provided in Assisted Living Residences, respectively.  An Ombudsman can assist a resident determine the most effective approach to resolve their complaint or concern and understand their options.  Click on the link under “What would you like to do?” to find an Ombudsman in your area.

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Abuse is a very serious type of complaint, involving the deliberate infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or punishment, which results in physical harm, pain, or mental anguish. This includes verbal, sexual, physical, or mental abuse, as well as abuse enabled through the use of technology.  Neglect, mistreatment, and misappropriation are also types of abuse.

Call 911 or local police if you have an emergency or life-threatening situation.

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The Massachusetts Department of Public Health receives complaints of elder abuse, neglect, mistreatment and misappropriation in nursing homes and rest homes. For information about how to file a complaint about ABUSE IN A NURSING HOME OR REST HOME, see link below.

Additional Resources


The Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) receives complaints of elder abuse, neglect, mistreatment and misappropriation. Elder abuse includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, caretaker neglect, financial exploitation and self-neglect. Elder Abuse reports can be filed 24 hours a day with EOEA either online or by phone at (800) 922-2275. Elder Protective Services  investigates cases of abuse where the person is age 60 or older and lives in the community. EOEA will respond to other reports of abuse through investigation or referral, as appropriate. To report abuse of a person with a disability under the age of 60, call the Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC) at (800) 426-9009.

For more information, see link below.

Additional Resources

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