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Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

Advocating for residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and residential homes for the aged.


The client must be a resident of a long-term care facility in one of the counties we serve:  Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Monroe, Roane, Scott, Sevier and Union.

Top 3 Goals

  1. Identify, investigate, and resolve complaints made by residents of long-term care facilities.
  2. Ensure residents receive the highest quality of life and care possible, and that their rights are upheld.
  3. Recruit, train, certify, and assign volunteer ombudsmen to every long-term care facility in the 16-county region. 

Explanation of Services

Under the federal Older Americans Act [OAA] every state is required to have an Ombudsman Program that advocates for residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and residential homes for the aged.  The Ombudsman works to resolve problems individual residents face, and effect change at the local, state, and national levels to improve quality of care.

Ombudsman program responsibilities include:

  • Assisting residents, family members, and others understand residents’ rights, and support residents in exercising their rights guaranteed by law;
  • Offering assistance to prospective residents and their families in choosing a facility that best meets their needs;
  • Providing trained, certified ombudsman staff to be available in each long-term care facility;
  • Acting on behalf of residents to ensure their stay is as pleasant and home-like as possible;
  • Providing assistance to family and resident councils to enable them to advocate for change;
  • Working with other agencies, including the Department of Health, Department of Human Services, Adult Protective Services, Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, and law enforcement to ensure that residents are protected and receive the best possible care.

 For Volunteer Opportunities



Program Quick Stats


Long-Term Care Facilities in East Tennessee


Beds Within the Long-Term Care Facilities in East Tennessee


Average Complaints, Concerns, Consultations Received Monthly


Thomas Kahler
(865) 691-2551 Ext. 4223


Federal funds are made available through the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability.

Counties Served

Regional Office, Blount County, Claiborne County, Campbell County, Anderson County, Knox County, Morgan County, Cocke County, Grainger County, Hamblen County, Jefferson County, Loudon County, Monroe County, Roane County, Scott County, Sevier County, Union County