Become a Volunteer Ombudsman and become a friend and advocate for senior adults residing in Pottawatomie, Payne, Pawnee, Lincoln, Seminole, Okfuskee and Hughes County nursing homes, assisted living centers and residential care facilities. Long-Term Care Ombudsman help ensure senior residents receive quality of life care in a dignified manner. Volunteer Ombudsmen are vital to the state’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program due to their regular presence in facilities and their friendships with residents.

Ombudsman Volunteers require a true compassion for elder people and their needs, willingness to problem solve from beginning to resolution, and abilities to objectively observe and work with a diverse group of people on an individual and non-judgmental basis. Ombudsman Volunteers must be willing to dedicate two hours per week for facility visits and attend monthly volunteer meetings.

Central Oklahoma Economic Development District (COEDD) Area Agency on Aging is offering Volunteer Ombudsman training sessions in Pottawatomie County. The two-day training will cover the role and responsibilities of Ombudsman Volunteers, the aging process, Resident’s Rights, communication skills building, understanding the role of government in the nursing home industry, and , mediation, negotiation and complaint resolution. The training sessions will be held on two consecutive days, Monday and Tuesday February 11 and 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the COEDD office, 400 North Bell, Shawnee, OK.

The training is free and open to all interested individuals. Volunteers will be assigned to a facility within 15 miles of their home. All Ombudsman Volunteers are subject to criminal background checks. All prospective Ombudsman Volunteers may call Michelle Goins, Ombudsman Supervisor, at COEDD Area Agency on Aging in Shawnee, OK, at1-800-375-8255, ext. 127.