Thursday December 19, 2019
Ombudsman program seeks advocates for older adults
The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area (AAACAP) is seeking passionate volunteers to advocate for seniors’ health and safety throughout the CAPCOG region by participating in its Long-Term Ombudsman Program. Program volunteers visit nursing home and assisted living facility residents to identify and investigate complaints and educate residents, their families and facility staff about facility rules and requirements which protect the welfare and rights of those living in long-term care settings.
“The AAACAP region covers ten counties with 90 nursing homes and 172 assisted living centers; requiring additional advocates to meet the needs of each facility.” said Pete Moreno, AAACAP Managing Lead Ombudsman. “The volunteers we are seeking have to care about others and have skills in problem solving as you often become the voice for the resident. You are advocating for those that can’t always advocate for themselves and may not have family to assist.”
While AAACAP, a division of CAPCOG, hopes to recruit volunteers in every county, there is a particular need for volunteers in rural communities because of the distance between facilities. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, have transportation, and complete a free 36-hour training course that includes classroom, self-study and in-facility training. After volunteer training, hours are flexible and determined by the volunteer with a minimum of two volunteer-hours to be completed each week.
CAPCOG with the help of the state Long-term Care Ombudsman Program is conducting volunteer training courses in December and into the new year.
People interested in advocating for seniors should contact Moreno.
Read more about the ombudsman program.