The Long-term-Care (LTC) Ombudsman program advocates for LTC consumers across the United States. In our region (Region 4), we serve all 10 counties of northwest Ohio to provide advocacy and support to anyone receiving LTC supports and services.
We take pride in our continuous efforts to become better and more efficient advocates. We undertake additional trainings, provide and attend continuing education, and strive to demonstrate and cultivate a culture of inclusivity and cultural competence to best serve consumers of any background.
While our paid staff enjoys additional training and opportunities to grow professionally, this is also something that we provide to our volunteers. Volunteering with the LTC Ombudsman program allows individuals who want to give back to become “Certified Ombudsman Associates.” With 14 hours of training and annual continuing education requirements, volunteers of our program are equipped to advocate and case handle as adeptly as any staff person.
Each month, the volunteers are provided free education on a variety of topics relevant to long-term care. We are creating and cultivating a group of competent and dedicated volunteers. We are also investing in our volunteers as a way of demonstrating their worth to us and the important role they play in enabling the LTC Ombudsman program to achieve regular visits to all group homes, assisted-living communities, and nursing facilities.
Our volunteer ombudsmen are integral members of our team. While most of our current volunteers are retirees, we accept volunteers from many backgrounds and in all stages of life. Each individual volunteer brings a different skill set, base of knowledge, and passion for service that complements our robust training. We are always looking for volunteers, and we have no caps on the number of volunteers our program will allow. So, the more the merrier! Bring your friends!
Most of us became an ombudsman (in part) to prepare the way for when we ourselves may need LTC supports and services. If our lives lead us to living in an LTC community, we want to know that there are droves of volunteer ombudsmen ready to help ensure that our rights are respected and upheld.
To apply to become a volunteer, we just ask you to fill out a short application and conflict-of-interest screen. After which, a staff member will give you a call to discuss expectations and next steps. If you have any interest at all in becoming involved and contributing your time to support LTC consumers, we are waiting to hear from you. If you want to know more or have questions, please give us a call at 419-259-2891.
Megan Benner Senecal is a member of the Ombudsman Office.