Long-Term Care Ombudsman

The Kerr-Tar Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman:

  • Advocates for residents of long-term care facilities
  • Investigates and resolves complaints made by residents of care facilities
  • Trains and assists community advisory committee members as advocates
  • Promotes community involvement in long-term care
  • Promotes awareness of elder abuse and neglect

Who may need an Ombudsman:

  • Residents of nursing homes, adult care homes, and family care homes
  • Family and friends of residents in long-term care facilities
  • Long-term care facility staff
  • Government agencies and community groups
  • Anyone seeking information and education related to long-term care or placement issues

What to do before calling your Ombudsman:

  • Be prepared.  Be organized and have your concerns written down to help you be more effective and ask the right questions.
  • Keep your own records.  Take notes or keep a journal.  Remember to record dates, times, and people you spoke with regarding your concerns.
  • Be pleasant.  Being angry or rude never helps to solve the problem.
  • Utilize the facility complaint or grievance procedure system.  If possible, try and solve complaints throught the facility first.

New residents of nursing and assisted living facilities may go through a difficult adjustment period, even if the home is doing all that it can.  The adjustment can be made easier with the support of family and friends, and by knowing about your resident rights and some special protections under the law.

Resident rights are essentially the same for all types of homes in all states.  Click HERE or on the image above for more information on Resident’s Rights.

Elder Abuse Awareness

Families and friends of disabled adults can help prevent abuse, neglect, and exploitation of these individuals by looking out for some tell-tale signs and taking action.  The North Carolina Adult Protective Services Law applied to any disabled adult or emancipated minor who might be abused, neglected, or exploited and might be in need of protection.  The law prohibits:

  • Abuse:  Willful infliction of physical pain, injury, mental anguish, unreasonable confinement, or willful deprivation by a caregiver of services necessary to maintain mental or physical health.
  • Self-Neglect:  Disabled adults who live alone and have no caregiver and are unable to provide necessary services to maintain mental or physical health.
  • Caregiver Neglect:  Failure of a caregiver to provide services necessary to avoid physical harm or mental anguish and to maintain mental health of the disabled adult.
  • Exploitation:  Illegal or improper use of a disabled adult or his or her resources for another’s profit or advantage.

Reporting Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation

Anyone who suspects abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a disabled adult is required by law to report it to the county Department of Social Services (DSS).  Confidentiality is guaranteed.

County DSS representatives may be reached at these numbers:

Franklin County (919) 496-5721
Granville County (919) 693-1511
Person County (336) 599-8361
Vance County (252) 492-5001
Warren County (252) 257-5012

In any county, call 911 to reach local public safety emergency services after 5:00 pm or on holidays and weekends.

Be prepared to provide as much of this information as possible about the disabled adult:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Age or birth date
  • Caregiver/caretaker’s name (if any)
  • Explain the situation and why you feel the person needs protection
  • Mental or physical condition of the adult (Is this individual disabled?)
  • Names of others who may help provide information regarding the situation (if available)

Additional Resources:

Contact your Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman:

Kimberly Hawkins, MSW

(252) 436-2050


For more information, click HERE.