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In the News

Volunteer advocates needed for seniors, disabled in long-term care facilities

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area (AAACAP) ombudsman program is seeking volunteers to fulfill ombudsmen roles throughout its 10-county service area – Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis, and Williamson counties. Volunteer ombudsmen serve as advocates for residents living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They assist residents and their families and provide a voice for those unable to speak for themselves.

An ombudsman is a specially trained and certified volunteer who advocates for resident’s rights and quality of care by regularly visiting and observing residents in long-term care facilities. Volunteer ombudsmen also identify and investigate complaints; and educate residents, families, and staff on maintaining the health, safety, welfare of the facilities’ residents. Ombudsman services are both free and confidential.

With 239 nursing and assisted living facilities in the AAACAP region, a strong volunteer force helps ensure every facility and their residents have access to ombudsman services.

No prior experience is required to volunteer as an ombudsman, but volunteers must be at least 18 years old and complete a free training course consisting of classroom study and training at local nursing homes. After training, volunteers serve an internship, working two to four hours per month in their assigned facility. Hours are flexible and determined by the volunteer.

Authorized by the Older Americans Act, each state has an Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. Local staff and volunteer ombudsmen work in local areas as part of the statewide program.

> For more information on volunteering, contact Pete Moreno, AAACAP’s managing local ombudsman.
> Read about the AAACAP ombudsman program.

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