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The mission of the Board on Aging and Long Term Care is to advocate for the interests of the state's long term care consumers, to inform those consumers of their rights, and to educate the public at large about health care systems and long term care.
Volunteer Ombudsmen in this program make unannounced visits to designated long term care facilities on a weekly basis. During their weekly visits volunteers observe, listen to and interact with the residents. They observe general conditions of the facility, and keep a log of this data. Volunteers talk with the residents and families guiding them in the right direction to resolve issues. Volunteers listen to and assist the resident with issues that may include, but are not limited to personal hygiene, daily cares, diet/meal issues, comfort, activities, staff relationships, personal empowerment, and facility conditions.
Volunteer Ombudsmen work with residents and their family members to communicate concerns and complaints by providing support and empowerment. The Volunteer Ombudsman can assist residents by being their voice and with their permission work hand in hand with the facility staff to resolve issues. Volunteers also have an exit interview with a designated contact at the facility before leaving the facility after each visit. This is a time to talk about their observations, concerns residents have shared, and issues that have not been resolved. This discussion is included in the Volunteer's monthly report as well.
Another role of the Volunteer Ombudsman is to act as the "eyes and ears" of the Regional Ombudsman. Volunteer Ombudsmen complete monthly reports and complex issues are referred to the Regional Ombudsmen via the Volunteer Coordinator. These issues typically require professional complaint resolutions, and would include medical care, legal issues of guardianship, power of attorney, discharge/transfer rights, and mediating disputes.
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