Calcasieu Council on Aging Ombudsman Program

The Calcasieu Council on Aging Ombudsman program serves long-term care facilities in six parishes (Calcasieu, Cameron, Beauregard, Allen, Jeff Davis and Vernon). These facilities include nursing homes and assisted living facilities. 

What Is an Ombudsman?

A Swedish word that means “citizen representative” A problem solver, mediator, helper, resource person and educator

Who Are Ombudsmen?

Ombudsmen are both paid and volunteer staffs who are interested in quality of life and care for nursing home residents.  Ombudsmen are skilled in working with people and are trained to be alert to the needs of nursing home residents.

What Do Ombudsmen Do?

  • Ombudsmen visit the nursing home regularly and listen to concerns of the residents.
  • Ombudsmen meet with families and friends to learn their concerns.
  • Ombudsmen discuss concerns with the nursing home staff and work to resolve the problems.

What Are Common Concerns of Residents?

  • Need for information
  • Loss of personal items
  • Food service
  • Financial issues
  • Resident care
  • Respect for privacy

Volunteer Ombudsmen Are Needed?

Volunteer Ombudsmen are needed to work two hours each week.  Training for this work includes:

  • Residents’ rights;
  • Problem-solving skills;
  • Aspects of aging;
  • Laws affecting nursing homes.

Ombudsmen Will Get:

  • An opportunity to get to know nursing home residents in their community;
  • A sense of satisfaction from helping someone else;
  • Practical knowledge and experience.

Nursing Home Residents’ Rights

These rights are required by state law and state and federal regulations.

Health Care

  • To receive adequate and appropriate health care and protective and support services
  • To be free of physical restraints not documented as medically necessary
  • With certain limits, to have your choice of pharmacy and physician
  • To withhold payment for physician visitation if the physician did not examine you
  • To be transferred or discharged only after reasonable notice is given and only for medical reasons, the welfare of other residents, or for non-payment
  • To be protected from transfer or discharge from a Title XIX certified facility solely because the source of payment for care changes

Individual Liberties

  • To exercise your civil and religious liberties
  • To exercise your rights as a resident and a citizen
  • To complain and make suggestions without fear of coercion or retaliation
  • To be treated courteously, fairly and with the fullest measure of dignity
  • To be free of mental and physical abuse
  • To take part in various activities of the nursing home
  • To be free not to perform work
  • To choose a roommate, whenever possible
  • To have your own clothing and possessions
  • To manage your personal affairs, or if this is delegated to the facility, to receive an accounting report every three months upon request
  • To retire and rise in accordance with reasonable requests
  • Unless medically contraindicated, to consume a reasonable amount of alcoholic beverages
  • To use tobacco in accordance with applicable policies, rules and law
  • To have ample opportunity to visit with family and friends


  • To be informed of your rights, the rules and regulations of the nursing home
  • To receive prompt response to all reasonable requests and inquiries
  • To have any significant change in your health status reported to you
  • To be informed of your condition and planned medical treatment, and to participate in or refuse that treatment
  • To be informed of the bed reservation policy for hospitalization
  • To be told of all services available and all costs, including charges covered or not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the basic per diem rate


  • To be treated with consideration and respect for your personal privacy
  • To receive private mail
  • To receive visitors in privacy
  • To have your personal and medical records treated confidential
  • To refuse to serve as a medical research subject

Contact Ombudsman

Calcasieu Council On Aging Ombudsman Program

Charles Campbell, Ombudsman Director

3950 Hwy 14, Lake Charles, LA 70607
Monday – Friday   8:00am to 3:30pm
Phone:  (337) 474-2583 ext. 1059 or 1-800-223-5872
Fax:  (337) 474-6563