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Stories

Spring 2016 Volunteer Training: Long-Term Care Ombudsman

Advocate for elders and people with disabilities in our community

In just a few hours each week, you can make a big difference in the lives of residents of local nursing and rest homes. 

I want to volunteer! How can I become a volunteer Ombudsman?

Attend the next free Volunteer Training for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program on March 21, 22, and 23, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with a break for lunch, in Northampton, Mass.

With questions, call Trevor Boeding at 413-773-5555x2241 or 978-544-2259x2241. To apply, visit the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program page. Interested parties must successfully complete application process before attending the training.

Annmarie loves volunteering with seniors

June 2015 LTCO photoOmbudsman Annmarie Newton (left) visits weekly with Quabbin Valley Healthcare residents like Helen.“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 common room, where people are “hearing music, watching a movie, 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. 

Annmarie also speaks with each person who is awake in their rooms and will visit with them if they want. If there is a particular problem, she will discuss the issue with the resident in private; if addressing the issue requires interaction with facility staff, she will speak with the social worker or nurse manager, and she takes urgent issues to Trevor Boeding, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Director. 

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.”

Like all Ombudsmen, Annmarie listens to residents and assist them by advocating and problem-solving with them in collaboration with the nursing facility staff. Quality of life and quality of care for the residents are the common goals.