I CARE Volunteer Ombudsmen

I CARE volunteers are certified ombudsmen who visit long-term care facilities regularly to listen to residents' concerns and, with the resident's permission, advocate on behalf of the resident. Volunteer ombudsmen report to a supervising ombudsman who directs them in their advocacy. Learn more about becoming a volunteer by going to our Volunteer link above.

What is I CARE?

I CARE is a regional long-term care ombudsman program. We serve residents who live in long-term care facilities in 12 central Illinois counties. Local staff and volunteers advocate for resident rights on behalf of approximately 7,000 residents in over 100 long-term care facilities. We maintain a regular presence in nursing homes, supportive living and assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities for the developmentally disabled, and shelter care facilities, The Illinois Retired Teachers Association Foundation is the sponsor agency for I CARE. I CARE is also a sub-grantee of The Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland .

What is the Ombudsman program?

Federal and state law mandates the creation of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program in the State of Illinois. The ombudsman program was created in the early 1970’s by the Older Americans Act to protect the rights of nursing home residents by investigating and resolving their complaints. Currently, there are seventeen regional ombudsman programs throughout the State of Illinois that work under the auspices of the Illinois Department of Aging . The ombudsman program assures residents receive quality care and a dignity of life at the highest practical level. Ombudsmen offer public information sessions to the community and facility staff as well as work to assure the interests of long-term care residents are represented to governmental agencies and policy makers. Certified ombudsmen visit residents in long-term care facilities to: inform residents of their rights, empower residents to engage in problem-solving efforts on their own behalf, follow up on resident concerns, and resolve resident complaints.

What is an "Ombudsman"?

Ombudsman is a Swedish word meaning citizen's representative. A Long-Term Care Ombudsman is an advocate who seeks to resolve concerns on behalf of people who receive long-term care services. Our advocacy efforts are directed by the long-term care resident.

Serving the Illinois counties of: Cass, Christian, Greene, Jersey, Logan, Macoupin, Mason, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Sangamon, Scott