By Heidi L’Esperance and Bobbie Constantine
Looking for a unique and challenging volunteer opportunity?
The Snohomish County Long-Term Care Volunteer Ombudsman Program provides just that for individuals to provide support for long-term care residents.
Mandated by state law, the ombudsman program focuses on “promoting and protecting long-term care residents’ rights, dignity, safety and quality of life.”
With an estimated 600 facilities and over 7,000 residents in Snohomish County alone, volunteers are our most valued resource.
With a significant and growing population of long-term care residents and facilities more volunteers are critical to meet the needs of this expanding population.
Volunteers are the core of our organization and while they give of their time and energy they derive a great deal of personal satisfaction.
Through their activities they:
•Educate residents, family members and care providers about residents rights.
•Investigate when a complaint is received, and work with the resident and facility staff to resolve it.
•Advocate for person-centered care with dignity and respect.
•Have a chance to make a significant difference in the lives of the residents.
Volunteers receive training and ongoing support. Volunteer ombudsmen plan their own schedules visiting their facilities at various times of the day and week.
Facilities are selected based on the volunteer’s interest, availability and geographic proximity to home or work.
These dedicated individuals make a difference – “one person and one visit at a time.”
For details go to www.waombudsman.org. You can also call County Regional Staff Ombudsman Heidi L’Esperance at 360-862-1100.