Ombudsman Associates are volunteer advocates who provide a voice for the concerns of long-term care consumers, primarily in nursing homes. They make regular visits to assigned nursing homes, make observations about the facility and engage residents in conversation. They ask about problems or concerns residents may have regarding care and services provided at the facility. Associates make residents feel comfortable and let them know they have an advocate on their side.
Associates regularly document their visits. They note any problems they saw or were told about that need to be investigated by an Ombudsman staff member. These reports help inform residents and provide insight on trends that the regional Ombudsmen and State Ombudsman can use for advocacy.
Ombudsman Associates make regular visits to facilities, provide information to residents, family, and staff about the Ombudsman program and resident rights, handle uncomplicated problems directly, but may also work to resolve minor complaints themselves. They may also work with Ombudsman staff to investigate and resolve more complicated complaints and issues. Ombudsman Associates must complete six hours of continuing education each year.
Ombudsman volunteers are one of the program's most valued resources. In 2012, 350 ombudsman volunteers:
- Contributed 15,167.5 hours of service & accounted for more than 34% of the program's advocacy hours;
- Spent 2116.4 hours assisting with complex complaints;
- Made 7,809 visits to facilities, 61 percent of all visits;
- Completed intake on 412 cases, 7.6 percent of the total; and
- Made a difference in the lives of countless residents!
Find out more about being an Ombudsman Volunteer.
Become a Volunteer Ombudsman Associate - If you would like to donate your time as an Ombudsman Associate, please let us know by completing a short form.