The 2018 hurricane season has been extraordinarily active in parts of the U.S., with Hurricane Florence currently impacting millions in the Carolinas. As this natural disaster unfolds, the staff here at VolunteerMatch is doing its part to ensure that, if you are in an affected community, you are prepared and safe. And if you are looking to help with disaster relief efforts, you know about the most effective ways to contribute.
Ombudsman is a Swedish word meaning citizen’s representative. In Illinois, volunteers represent the Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program when they visit residents in long-term facilities. Volunteer Ombudsman visit residents on a regular basis; listen to residents’ concerns and problems while having a friendly visit; and reports to an Ombudsman Supervisor who will guide and direct volunteers while they respond to the needs of residents. Volunteers are the eyes and ears of the Ombudsman Program, and they are truly the heart of the program.
The most important requirements are compassion, respect for older adults and common sense. We provide the training needed to enable volunteers to help residents know their rights. Volunteers receive initial and ongoing training from experts in various areas of elder rights, laws and advocacy.
We ask volunteers for a one or two year commitment. This enables the volunteers and resident to get to know each other and the volunteer gains experience. Volunteers will usually visit residents in one or two facilities near their home on a regular basis, about once every one or two weeks. Volunteer hours are flexible - nursing homes and residential care facilities are open 24 hours a day. Volunteers are needed to serve in Will, Grundy and Kankakee Counties.