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Volunteers needed to advocate for residents in Nursing Homes

In Community, Local, News by OC Monitor Staff

Submitted by the Green River Area Development District

OWENSBORO, Ky. — Kentucky has reached a critical point and is desperately in need of more volunteer long-term care ombudsmen to keep the program running effectively and protect the rights of vulnerable Kentuckians.

Thousands of residents of long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, family care homes, and personal care homes in Kentucky depend on LTC ombudsmen to advocate for them. Most LTC ombudsmen across the country are volunteers, performing incredibly important work. They assist residents of LTC facilities with any care concerns they have and provide them with a voice. There is no one else in long-term care doing what an LTC ombudsman does.

This year, a new interactive curriculum was released to train incoming certified volunteer ombudsmen in Kentucky. The new curriculum will involve classroom training, independent study, and work in the field to fully prepare new ombudsmen. In Kentucky, there is a local long-term care ombudsman program in each of the 15 area development districts, each of which manages its own district program with staff and volunteers.

GRADD will offer classroom training via Zoom to qualifying volunteers across the state. These classes will be planned for June and July.

Would you consider becoming a certified volunteer ombudsman? If you care about the Kentuckians who live in long-term care communities, this may be the perfect new role for you. You would have the opportunity to meet some amazing people who have served our commonwealth and now live in long-term care communities. You could help ensure these people are receiving the care and attention they need and deserve, while at the same time helping yourself. Recent studies suggest volunteers over the age of 55 found significant decreases in levels of depression, functional limitations, and feelings of isolation through volunteering. Volunteering gave them a shared sense of purpose, and they strengthened ties to their communities.

For more information about the Kentucky State Long-Term Care Ombudsman program or to find out how to become a certified volunteer ombudsman, visit ombuddy.org or contact Heather Mullican, GRADD District Long Term Care Ombudsman, at 270-926-4433 or [email protected].