Nina Keller: Volunteer advocates are needed by AAA7

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 25, 2021

We have a unique opportunity at the Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) for those who are interested in serving as a volunteer advocate for nursing home residents. This opportunity is made available through our Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, which is committed to protecting the rights of long-term care consumers. The Ombudsman Program provides this support for nursing home residents by helping them resolve problems and advocating for their rights, with the overall goal of enhancing the quality of life and care for all long-term care consumers in nursing homes or other home and community-based settings. Currently, this volunteer opportunity is taking place over the phone until volunteers return back to in-person visits.

Volunteer Ombudsman Associates are an invaluable part of the Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and provide an essential voice for consumers of long-term care services through regular visits to their assigned nursing home. Volunteer Ombudsman Associates provide residents with direct access to Ombudsman services; educate residents, families, friends and service providers about resident rights; advocate for person-centered care provided with dignity and respect; and help to resolve complaints as needed.

Because Volunteer Ombudsman Associates provide such an important support, they receive special training and on-going, professional support from our Agency. In addition, Volunteer Ombudsman Associates have the opportunity to plan their own schedules, are permitted to visit any day of the week, and are recognized during an annual event.

If you are a well-motivated individual and interested in the well-being and protection of residents receiving long-term care services, we welcome your interest in learning more about becoming a Volunteer Ombudsman Associate with the Area Agency on Aging District 7. Please call us at 1-800-582-7277 or e-mail to info@aaa7.org to learn more about this unique opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of others.

You can learn even more with our “Coffee Break” livestream that is featured twice a month on our AAA7 Facebook Page. Through this social media outreach, we have been discussing more about volunteer opportunities through the Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and sharing more details and information to educate the community. Find us on Facebook to learn more details.

Nina Keller is the executive director of Area Agency on Aging District 7.