Residents of long-term care facilities are sometimes lonely, with little connection to the outside world. Many feel a lack of control over their lives. A regular volunteer can be a bright spot in a resident's day.
Ombudsmen are advocates for residents of nursing homes, personal care homes, assisted living facilities and other adult care facilities. They help resolve small problems and foster changes that can improve residents’ quality of care and quality of life.
Who Can Be a Volunteer Ombudsman?
If you are over 21, have available transportation, and are genuinely concerned for older adults, you may become a Volunteer Ombudsman.
What Skills Do I Need?
The most important attributes of a Volunteer Ombudsman are compassion, respect for older persons, and common sense. A positive attitude, ability to communicate effectively, and available time are also important. You’ll be provided with training and supervision to develop these specific skills.
What Tasks will I do?
Visit residents on a regular basis as assigned.
Listen to residents' concerns during a visit.
Support residents' rights, privacy, and confidentiality.
Refer urgent concerns to their supervisor.
What’s In It for Me?
You will feel a sense of reward knowing you make a difference in the lives of people you visit.
You’ll develop your interpersonal skills and gain greater understanding of the aging process.
You’ll become a practiced listener, communicator and relationship builder, and you will gain knowledge in issues related to confidentiality, complaint resolution, and resident rights.
What Is the Time Commitment?
Volunteers are expected to attend basic orientation and some job shadowing to learn the ropes. After that, the time you spend is tailored to your schedule. Volunteer Ombudsmen meet several times a year with their peers for updates and training.
Whom Do I Contact?
Contact the Agency at 765-2696 or 1-800-225-8571 and ask for the Ombudsman Program.