Long-Term Care Ombudsman

Ashlee Brooks, Ombudsman
540-551-5635 (Direct Line)
Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging
207 Mosby Lane
Front Royal VA 22630

Ombudsman is a Swedish term meaning “citizen advocate.”

Ombudsmen represent individuals receiving long term care in a nursing home, assisted living facility or through community based services.

Your advocate…

  • To protect and improve the quality of care and the quality of life for those receiving long term care
  • To assist individuals in asserting their rights

Your Educator…

  • To provide education and information To those receiving care and their family members

Your Complaint Counselor…

  • To empower individuals to express their concerns
  • To receive and investigate complaints about nursing homes, assisted living facilities and community based services
  • To identify, investigate and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of, recipients of long term care

Tips from SAAA’s Ombudsman

It’s always a good idea to become familiar with a facility’s policy regarding a resident’s personal belongings, and it is especially important that residents and their family members/representatives know how to take preventative measures to ensure items don’t go missing, or worse, get stolen.

Under the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, residents have the right to retain possession of their personal belongings and are entitled to a safe environment free of theft and loss. Below are some preventative measures that can be put in place to reduce theft and/or loss of possessions:

  • Mark all personal items with resident names
  • Maintain a written inventory system for clothing and other valuables, ensure it is signed by the resident and a representative from the facility (residents should keep a copy of the inventory list)
  • Take pictures of valuables
  • Keep copies of all receipts for any item brought into the facility

If a resident’s personal belongings go missing and/or are stolen, report the loss/theft immediately to the administrator, local ombudsman, and/or licensing department. You can also make a report to the local police or State law enforcement. Remember to ask the facility what their policy is for replacement of lost articles, some may have insurance policies that cover larger items.

If you have long term care concerns or questions about nursing homes or assisted living facilities, contact Ashlee Brooks, SAAA’s Ombudsman, at her direct line 540-551-5635 (Monday-Friday).

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