What is an Ombudsman?


An ombudsman is an advocate for residents’ rights. An ombudsman is responsible for investigating complaints made by, or on behalf of Nursing and Adult Care Home residents.  Ombudsmen can work with residents, family members, concerned citizens, facilities, as well as public and private agencies.  The goal of the Ombudsman Program is to enhance residents’ quality of care and quality of life.

An Ombudsman Can:


  • Advocate for you when your legal rights have been violated or you are not receiving proper care or assistance.


  • Investigate concerns that you or your family may have about residents’ rights, services and benefits.


  • Mediate disputes that you or your family may have with the facility.


  • Provide information and assistance to you, your family members, and staff members in areas including: care planning, family and resident councils, resident transfer and discharge, long-term care placement.


  • Promote elder-abuse awareness within the community.


  • Monitor long-term care facilities to ensure that your rights are not being violated.


  • Educate the public on long-term care issues and promote increased community involvement in long-term care facilities.


For more information about this program, contact YOUR Ombudsman:


Shontelia L. Sowers, BSW, MSHCA

Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman

​Phone: 910-775-9761




You can access for a copy of the condensed Resident’s Rights. Note there are two separate bill of rights that are specific to the level of care; one for nursing homes and one for adult care/family care homes.







Choosing a long term care facility can be a difficult decision, especially when considering care needs, cost, location and preferences. For assistance, click one of the links below based on the level of care required. There, you will find guidance on how to choose the appropriate long term care setting for your loved one.


Nursing Home Compare -


Adult Care/Family Care  -


Nursing Home                -



If you have questions or need further long term care selection assistance, please contact:


Shontelia L. Sowers, BSW, MSHCA

Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman

​Phone: 910-775-9761










Members are volunteer advocates in each county who are appointed by the county commissioners to serve on the nursing and adult care home community advisory committees in each county (G.S. 131E-128 and 131D-31).


The primary purposes of the advisory committees are to maintain the intent of the Nursing Home and Adult Care Home Resident Bill of Rights within nursing homes and adult care homes across North Carolina and to promote community involvement and cooperation with such homes to ensure quality of care for older adults.

The advisory committees are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners in each county. The committees are responsible for advising the county commissioners of the general conditions existing in the long term care facilities within each county. The committees fulfill this obligation through formal and informal visits to the facilities. In addition, they submit quarterly and annual reports to the county commissioners and the Regional Ombudsman. Community advisory committees assist individuals in resolving grievances with facilities at the local level. If you are interested in becoming a Community Advisory Committee member in your county, please contact your Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners or your local Ombudsman. 



Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee


Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee



Additional Resources - North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services works to promote the independence and enhance the dignity of North Carolina's older adults, persons with disabilities, and their families through a community-based system of opportunities, services, benefits, and protections. - The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. The Consumer Voice is the leading national voice representing consumers in issues related to long-term care, helping to ensure that consumers are empowered to advocate for themselves. - Friends of Residents in Long-Term Care is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to advance quality of life for individuals receiving long term care services in North Carolina.