- Written by Jessica Riel
- Published: 26 January 2017
Learn to advocate for elders and people with disabilities in our community with free training
Want to volunteer to make a difference in your own community? The next Long-Term Care Ombudsman training is your chance! Volunteers in Shelburne Falls and Greenfield are especially needed.
Attend the next free volunteer training for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program on March 1 and 2, 2017, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and March 3, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with breaks for lunch, in Holyoke, Mass.
In just a few hours each week, you can make a big difference 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 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. She 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.
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, advocating and problem-solving with them. Quality of life and quality of care for the residents are the common goals.
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. “Trevor and I have a good relationship. If ever I have a problem, I call him, and he solves it for me.”
Interested volunteers must successfully complete the application process, which includes CORI, reference checks, and an interview with the program director, before attending the training. Volunteers are reimbursed for their mileage to and from the facility to which they are assigned.