MarJ Drury, the state Long-Term Care Ombudsman, and her 10 "sub-ombudsmen" answered about 2,000 queries about nursing homes last year.

The ombudsman's office deals with the state's 98 nursing homes, 34 residential care programs and numerous adult care programs - just about any place those over 60 live when they no longer can take care of themselves.Ombudsmen can answer questions about homes, provide written information and attempt to resolve complaints.

"We keep a log," Drury said. "Historically, the majority of the complaints - 200 last year - are general poor nursing care. The second, historically, is abuse, but this year, patients' rights have been second.

"Most of the calls are: `How do we find a good nursing home?"'

To contact the Drury, call 538-3910. For the Salt Lake County ombudsman, call 468-2854. In Davis County call 295-3479. Mountainlands area residents can call 377-2262. In other areas, contact your local Area Aging Agency.

The Utah State Nursing Home Association can also provide information. Call 268-9622.

Drury recommends that anyone who needs to find out about funding assistance for nursing home placement contact an outside authority or agency who is not actually part of the program, like someone in legal services or an aging advocacy group.