Mission & History

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The Long-Term Care Ombudsman program is your advocate in promoting the highest possible quality of life and care for residents of long-term care facilities. Our mission is to advocate for all residents in a long term care facility and promote the highest possible quality of life and care.

In the early 1970s, an advocate, Eva Norris of Santa Barbara, brought country-wide attention to the needs of long term care residents. A report documenting some of the conditions was published. An organization, Citizens for Better Nursing Home Care, was founded. This organization became the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program of Santa Barbara County when federal and state funds became available. Federal and state politicians became aware of care problems in nursing homes. Many dedicated volunteers and family members worked to develop the national and state Long Term Care Ombudsman program to ensure that facility residents receive quality care, their rights are respected, and they are free from abuse.

In 1979, the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program was authorized through the Older Americans Act. Federal level attention became focused on the conditions in nursing homes. The House and Senate Committees on Aging held numerous hearings and published reports. Through the efforts of Senator Claude Pepper of Florida, Dr. Arthur Fleming, and many others, advocacy was embedded in the Older Americans Act through the creation of the LTC Ombudsman Program.

Funding for Ombudsman Services is provided by the Area Agency on Aging, County and City of Santa Barbara, grants, and private donations.