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Become a Volunteer Ombudsman

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

Become a Volunteer Ombudsman and become a friend and advocate for senior adults residing in Pottawatomie 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, Tuesday and Wednesday February 11th and 12th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at COEDD, 400 N. Bell, Shawnee, OK.

The training is free and open to all interested individuals. All Ombudsman Volunteers are subject to criminal background checks. All prospective Ombudsman Volunteers may call Sherra Belk, Ombudsman Supervisor, at COEDD Area Agency on Aging in Shawnee, OK, at 405-273-6410, ext. 133.