Your Rights and Protection

Consumers are entitled to many important protections and guarantees related to long-term care services and support. It’s important to understand your rights and ensure all providers are held accountable to these important standards.

Do You Know Your Rights?

If you rent your home or apartment, if you are using home care or hospice services, or if you are a nursing home resident, you have rights that are guaranteed by law.

If you need assistance with regard to these rights, the Ombudsman for Long Term Care can help. Call the Ombudsman's office in Ohio toll-free at 800-282-1206.


People who rent their apartment or room in a senior building have rights under Ohio's Landlord-Tenant law.

  • Federal and state Fair Housing laws protect people from discrimination in housing. If you feel you have been discriminated against, you can call the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development toll free at 1.800.669.9777 or call the Ohio Department of Aging at 1-800-282-1206 

Residents with Housing Services

People who live in buildings registered with the state as a "housing-with-services establishment"—including those with assisted living services--have some legal protections in addition to the landlord-tenant law.

  • If you are considering a move to a housing-with-services building, ask for a copy of the Uniform Consumer Information Guide. This guide includes detailed information about the amenities and services in the building, costs, and more. You can use this Guide to compare several different buildings.
  • If you plan to move into a housing-with-services building, you must have a contract that addresses 17 different types of information, such as services available, fees, how to complain, how to change the contract and more. You can ask to see the contract in advance of your move and can have your family or an attorney review it with you. Be sure to get answers to any questions that you have. The contract may be called a lease or residency agreement.  If you will be using home care services while living in the building, you will have a separate home care contract for those services.
  • If you are seeking a memory care setting for yourself or a loved one, the program must disclose some additional information about its features and services specifically designed for dementia care. The information must also describe the training staff has received.

Home Care Services

If you are using home care services, you should have a contract with your home care provider for the services you will receive. This contract may be called a service plan or service agreement.  

It will describe:

  • the services you will receive,
  • the schedule for those services,
  • what types of staff will provide the services,
  • who will supervise your services,
  • charges for the services

In addition, you should have received a copy of the appropriate home care bill of rights from your home care agency. 

Nursing Home Residents

Click here to access the Bill of Rights for nursing home residents.


If you have a complaint about a hospital, nursing home, home care or hospice provider licensed by the Ohio Department of Health, you can contact the Complaints Unit.

Mailing Address:
Ohio Department of Health
Complaint Unit
246 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43215

1-800-669-3534 Home Health Hotline 
Live Call Coverage: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Fax: (614) 564-2422


Our national partner, LeadingAge, is an association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to expanding the world of possibilities for aging. Together, we advance policies, promote practices and conduct research that support, enable and empower people to live fully as they age.