- Written by Jessica Riel
- Published: 08 June 2015
Advocate for elders and people with disabilities in our community
In just a few hours each week, you can make a big different in the lives of residents of local nursing and rest homes.
“An Ombudsman is someone that they can feel at ease with, laugh with, and talk to,” says Long-Term Care Ombudsman Annmarie Newton, who volunteers at Quabbin Valley Healthcare in Athol. “My goal is to make people feel comfortable, good about themselves, and happier or more content. I hope and pray by the time I leave that they feel better.”
Annmarie begins her visit in the music room, where people are “hearing music, watching a move, playing cards,” and speaks to everyone, asking how things are going.
“I love seniors. I think they’re funny, smart, and unique. I just enjoy them and I look forward to coming down and visiting them,” says Annmarie.
If there is a particular problem, she will step out of the room with the resident to discuss the issue in private; if it’s a big problem, she will speak with the unit manager, and she takes emergencies to Trevor Boeding, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Director. She also speaks with each person who is awake in their rooms and will visit with them if they want.
Annmarie feels that if she brings a problem to Trevor, it will be addressed right away. “He gives me a verbal pat on the back. He really is very helpful to me and very supportive. I’m very happy with Trevor and I think we have a good relationship.”
Summer training application details
Attend the free Summer Volunteer Training for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, from Monday, July 27, through Wednesday, July 30, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a break for lunch, in Northampton, Mass.