The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is mandated by the U.S. Administration on Aging to advocate for and protect the rights of residents of nursing homes and assisted living centers.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman promote a person-centered approach putting the individual at the heart of all care decisions and gives them a voice. Person-centered care leads to better outcomes for the individual and contributes to higher staff satisfaction and retention.
The program also provides information and referral assistance, conducts educational activities to increase community awareness of elder rights and provides training to long-term care and staff. All reports and inquiries are confidential.
Ombudsmen do not regulate long term care homes, but do work with providers, resident representatives, residents, and their families to resolve concerns.
- DSS LTSS Ready to Reunite-Video
- Ombudsman Video
- South Dakota Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Annual Report FFY18
- South Dakota Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Annual Report FFY19
- South Dakota Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Annual Report FFY20
The South Dakota Department of Human Services (DHS) sent letters to the state's long-term care residential facilities advising of the seizure, retention, or confiscation of stimulus payments from their residents, regardless of payer source or debt owed to anyone. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services consider such seizure as a violation of federal regulations. Facilities could be subject to federal enforcement actions, including the removal from participating in Medicaid and Medicare programs. To view the full letter, click here.
Area Ombudsmen receive, investigate and seek to resolve complaints from, or on behalf of, residents of long-term care and residential facilities. The State Ombudsman is responsible for training local Ombudsman, providing technical assistance and providing the overall leadership for the program.
Long Term Care Ombudsman
- Empower residents to resolve concerns on their own behalf
- Inform individuals about their rights in long-term care
- Listen to residents and family members when they have concerns or issues arise
- Make recommendations for protecting the rights of resident and improving their care and quality of life
- Protect resident health, rights, safety and welfare
- Work to solve concerns and pursue resolutions through agencies that can assist such as but, not limited to, medical providers, social service agencies,government agencies, and legal services
- Work to ensure state regulations and laws protect residents
- Work with residents to expect excellence in their care
- Work with providers to promote a culture in which people have and can make choices.
- Work with family and resident councils
Services are provided to individuals:
- Without regard for income and resources.
- Requested by an individual or on behalf of an individual.
- Who reside in a long term care facility.
- Attempting to enter a facility.
Facilities Covered by the Ombudsman Program
- Nursing Facilities
- Assisted Living Facilities
- Licensed Adult Foster Care Homes
- Private Pay Board and Care Homes
- Homes Registered through the Department of Health
- Pierce Unit at the Human Services Center
Resident's Bill of Rights
- Facility to inform residents of rights.
- Facility to provide information on available service.
- Notification when resident's condition changes.
- Notification of change in room assignment.
- Right to manage financial affairs.
- Choice in care planning.
- Privacy and confidentiality.
- Quality of life.
- Availability of survey results.
- Right to refuse to perform services.
- Self-administration of medications.
- Admission, transfer and discharge policies.
You can view handbooks containing the Resident's Bill of Rights for Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities online.
- Long-Term Care Facilities Resident's Bill of Right
- Assisted Living Centers Resident's Bill of Rights
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also provides a Bill of Rights for Long-Term Care Facilities.
There are two links for you to use for the guide to choosing a nursing home:
Links for Information: