AARP Missouri State Director Craig Eichelman is sharing information about an organization whose volunteers are making a big difference in Missouri!
The Missouri Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is seeking volunteers to participate to help resident of long-term care facilities to resolve problems, answer questions, and work to improve the quality of their lives. Volunteers, who are trained to perform specific duties, are needed in those areas of Missouri with the greatest need. After training, volunteers are assigned a long-term care facility and visit residents three to four hours weekly. “It is an important volunteer job,” Eichelman said, “and it can have a profound effect on the lives of the resident in these facilities.”
Volunteer Ombudsmen hear residents’ complaints and then work with staff, family or other resident reach resolution. “AARP asks members to consider volunteering for this meaningful role,” Eichelman said.
The program seeks to diminish the sense of isolation experienced by residents, especially those without family. The volunteer ombudsman can assist the resident in achieving a sense of self determination. Ombudsman volunteers strive to reinforce the importance of resident rights. While resident are provided information regarding their rights upon admission, the ombudsman is there as the resident adjusts to the facility to reiterate those rights and offer assistance in exercising those rights.
If you would like to become a Volunteer Ombudsman or want more information, contact Assistant State Ombudsman Susan Tonarely at 800.309.3282, or send an email to LTCOmbudsman@health.mo.gov. You can also sign up on the website.