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Volunteer Ombudsmen support residents of local long-term care facilities, and so can you!

Learn to advocate for elders and people with disabilities in a few hours a week with free training this month

Oct 2017 LTCO Ombuds training photoOmbudsman Annmarie Newton (left) visits weekly with Quabbin Valley Healthcare residents like Helen Douglas (right).Want to volunteer to make a difference in your community? The next Long-Term Care Ombudsman training is your chance! Volunteers in Shelburne Falls, Turners Falls, and Greenfield are especially needed.

Attend the next free volunteer training for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program on October 23 and 24, 2017, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and October 25, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with breaks for lunch, in Florence, Mass.

With questions or to apply, call Trevor Boeding, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program director at LifePath, at 413-773-5555 x2241 or 978-544-2259 x2241, or click here. Even if you can’t make it to this training, you can still reach out to be added to the list for a future session. 

“An Ombudsman is someone that they can feel at ease with, laugh with, and talk to,” says Annmarie Newton, a volunteer with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at LifePath, who has been visiting residents of a local nursing home for nearly a decade. “My goal is to make people feel comfortable, good about themselves, and happier or more content.”

Annemarie 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. She 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. “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.