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Ombudsman volunteers provide peace of mind to residents of long-term care facilities

April 2016 AVS Volunteers Story Ombudsman Annmarie Newton photoOmbudsman Annmarie Newton (left) visits weekly with Quabbin Valley Healthcare residents like Helen Douglas (right).Annmarie Newton has been volunteering with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at LifePath for nearly a decade. “We have a little joke over at LifePath,” Annmarie says. “‘Once you start with them, you never get away.’ And it's true! Because they make it so easy for you and so pleasant.”

It all started after she retired, Annmarie says. “I wanted to do something worthwhile to help people.” Upon learning about the volunteer opportunity, she signed up to visit the residents of a local nursing home, and it’s worked out well. “I can't tell you how much I enjoy this job. I really do.”

“The ombudsman is an individual who goes into a long-term care facility and visits with and advocates on behalf of the residents,” says Trevor Boeding, Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Director. “The whole goal of their work is elevate the quality of care that people receive and the quality of life that they participate in at the facility.”

Like all ombudsmen, Annmarie listens to residents and assists them by advocating and problem-solving with them in collaboration with the nursing facility staff. “I enjoy visiting with them and, once I get to know them, they feel very at ease with me and let me know if they have problems or if they're upset about something,” says Annmarie. She takes urgent issues to Trevor. “If ever I have a problem, I call him, and he solves it for me.”

Annemarie encourages others to volunteer as well. “LifePath has made a lot of difference in my life. I've enjoyed it all and I hope that I will be able to continue with them for many years to come.”

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a volunteer ombudsman, click here or contact Trevor at 413-773-5555 x2241, or 978-544-2259 x2241, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..