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ABOUT: Ombudsman

Long-Term Care Ombudsman

Our mission is to advocate for the dignity, quality of life and quality of care for all residents in long-term facilities.

Who We Are

Long-Term Care Ombudsmen maintain an ongoing presence in licensed Skilled Nursing Facilities and Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly. Ombudsmen make a difference in the quality of life of nearly 10,000 residents of long-term care facilities in Fresno and Madera counties. Ombudsmen visit residents, provide problem resolution, empower residents, and are confidential and caring advocates.


To become qualified, Ombudsmen receive 36 hours of initial training and 10 hours of mentoring in the field before becoming State Certified Ombudsman Representatives. An additional 18 hours of annual training are required to maintain certification status.

Who We Serve

The Fresno-Madera Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program offers free and confidential advocacy services to residents of licensed Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly and Skilled Nursing Facilities in Fresno and Madera counties.

What We Do

Ombudsmen make monthly, unannounced visits to each long-term care licensed facility in Fresno and Madera counties. A principal function of the Ombudsman Program is to work to resolve complaints made by, or on the behalf of, long-term care residents. A complaint is defined as information regarding action, inaction or decisions that may adversely affect the health, safety, dignity, welfare or rights of residents.


Ombudsmen respect resident and complainant confidentiality while focusing the complaint resolution to the resident’s stated wishes. Ombudsmen also investigate claims of alleged elder abuse occurring while residents are living in a licensed long-term care facility. Ombudsmen witness the signing of Advance Health Care Directives in a skilled nursing facility.

All Ombudsman Program work is resident-driven including any collaboration with state licensing and other regulatory agencies. The primary purpose of the Ombudsman Program is to support residents’ rights and to help achieve the best possible quality of life for all long-term care residents.

Staff and volunteer Ombudsmen provide assistance with the following:

  • Quality of Life Issues

  • Quality of Care Issues

  • Resident Rights Violations

  • Suspected Abuse Investigation

  • Formation of Resident Councils

  • In-Service Training and Education

  • Consultations to Individuals and Families

  • Witnessing of Advanced Healthcare Directives

  • Community Outreach and Education

If you are interested in learning more about how you can make a difference, please contact:
Susan Bussean, Program Manager | 559-224-9177, ext. 401 |

Community Outreach

The Fresno-Madera Long Term Care Ombudsman Program seeks to improve the quality of life of residents of long-term care facilities in Fresno and Madera counites. Community outreach opportunities include, presentations about program services, elder abuse, preparing for placement in long-term care, and how to select a long-term care facility. Presentations can be custom-fit for your group or organization.

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