Long Term Care Ombudsman

Who We Are

Ombudsmen are advocates who protect the rights of vulnerable adults living in long term care facilities. We investigate complaints and mediate to solve problems on behalf of the residents. 

The Ombudsman Service

The Ombudsman Program is a service available to anyone in the community. Residents, family, friends, facility staff, or any other person concerned about the welfare of residents in long term care facilities can file a complaint with our office.

The Appalachian Council of Governments’ Long Term Care Ombudsman Program covers six upstate counties in South Carolina:  Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens, and Spartanburg.

What We Do for Residents

  • Receive and investigate complaints on behalf of residents
  • Educate Residents, family, staff, and the community on topics affecting long term care residents
  • Provide information and referrals regarding long term care programs and services
  • Advocate for residents’ rights as well as improvements to state and federal laws and regulations affecting long term care
  • Mediate with the facility and family on behalf of, or with the resident
  • Empower residents to advocate for their rights and resolve their complaints

How does the Ombudsman handle a complaint?

First and foremost you should always bring your concern to the facility staff and give them a chance to fix the problem. Most facilities are willing to work with you to find a solution that everyone is happy with.

If that isn’t the case, call us! The Ombudsman program will take anonymous complaints and often times may just need to provide you with a consultation in order to help you solve the problem.

If it is an issue that needs to be investigated, the ombudsman will try to determine exactly what the problem is and if it is a problem throughout the facility. The ombudsman will then investigate the complaint to determine if it is valid. If valid, the ombudsman works with you and the facility to resolve the complaint. If not valid, the ombudsman will explain their findings to you.

After the investigation is through the ombudsman will then follow up to ensure that any agreement reached to solve the problem is actually carried out.

How can I file a complaint?

To file a complaint, please call Terry Mendola, Intake Coordinator at (864) 242-9733 or email her at tmendola@scacog.org

Who can call the Ombudsman?

  • Residents of long-term care facilities
  • Friends and relatives of residents
  • Facility staff members
  • Community  members and others concerned about the welfare of residents in long-term care facilities

What about confidentiality?

In all cases, your complaints are handled confidentially. The ombudsman does not disclose your identity without your permission, unless ordered to do so by a court. Even if the ombudsman cannot resolve your complaint without revealing your identity, you make the choice whether or not the ombudsman proceeds.

Individuals willing to volunteer to help in the LTC Ombudsman program might consider becoming part of our Volunteer Ombudsman Program.



Join Us For World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Funding legislation

The South Carolina State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is authorized by the federal Older Americans Act and its State companion, the Omnibus Adult Protection Act. 

Read more about this legislation here:

More Long Term Care Information

Access more information on Long Term Care, such as

  • Long-Term Planning
  • End of Life Planning
  • Choosing a nursing home or assisted living facility

LTC Ombudsman Brochure

Click here for Long Term Care Ombudsman Brochure (PDF)

What is the Resident's Bill of Rights?

The rights of nursing home residents are codified in both federal and state statutes with the intent of further protecting each resident's civil, religious, and human rights while they reside in a nursing facility.  
Resident's Bill of Rights (PDF)

Guide to Adult Protection

Adult Protection Coordinating Council

Definitions and Indicators of Abuse

Definition and Indicators of Neglect

Definition and Indicators of Exploitation

Where to Find Help


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