- Published: 13 June 2016
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 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 at LifePath (formerly Franklin County Home Care). “Trevor and I have a good relationship. If ever I have a problem, I call him, and he solves it for me.”
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.
Attend the next free volunteer training for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program on June 15, 16, and 17, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with a break for lunch, in Holyoke, Mass.