A Volunteer's Story
A Volunteer’s Story: “Helping someone else’s mom and dad”
- Written by Jessica Riel
- Published: September 14, 2017
Linda Ackerman makes a difference to local elders living in nursing and rest homes as a Long-Term Care Ombudsman volunteer
Linda Ackerman is a familiar face in Turners Falls. As manager of Greenfield Savings Bank on Avenue A, Linda enjoys giving back to her community – she was born and raised in Montague. “I love my bank and I love my town,” says Linda.
Linda has been supporting the mission of LifePath for over two decades. She first started as a supporter of Meals on Wheels by walking in the annual Meals on Wheels Walkathon to raise money for the home-delivered meal and wellness check program. These days, Linda is also a volunteer.
One of her roles is within LifePath’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman program. As an Ombudsman volunteer, Linda visits with residents at New England Health Center (NEHC), a nursing facility in Sunderland.
Before they passed away, Linda had been very close to her parents. “After they passed,” she says, “I kind of didn’t feel needed anymore. My children are grown up and don’t really live that close to the area.” So she met with Trevor Boeding, Long-Term Care Ombudsman program director, and signed up for a volunteer training. She has now been going to NEHC weekly for two years.
Linda says this work is personally meaningful to her. “I miss my Mom and Dad, and if I can help someone else’s mom and dad, who might not be able to be that close, then it makes me feel good.”
Linda believes others would enjoy becoming volunteer Ombudsmen as well. “Anyone going into it, they don’t have to worry about having a medical background,” she says. “You’re always learning.”
Do you want to learn more about becoming a volunteer Ombudsman?
Now is the perfect time! Volunteers are needed at several local rest homes and nursing homes, and the next free training will take place in Florence, Mass., from Monday, October 23, to Wednesday, October 25, 2017. With questions or to apply, click here or call Trevor Boeding at 413-773-5555 x2241 or 978-544-2259 x2241.