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Nursing HomesAssisted Living/Board & Care Home and Community Based Services

Ombudsman Volunteer Recognition Programs/Events

View stories recognizing the volunteer ombudsmen. These stories were collect by NORC, on behalf of the Administration on Aging (AoA). AoA featured these stories during National Volunteer Week 2011.

Ombudsman Best Practices

The Colorado SLTCOP recognized Cel Santistevan as an exemplary volunteer ombudsman. Cel, former Director for Lower Arkansas Valley Area Agency on Aging (LAVAAA), Region VI, has been a volunteer Lead Ombudsman for the past year covering six counties in the region of 9,534 square miles.He has overseen two volunteers as well as directly delivering Ombudsman services to 11 nursing homes and eight assisted living facilities. Cel is remarkable in many ways and not least of all is his willingness and volunteering to do tasks without being asked. He also handles crises as well as minor issues in an expedient manner with much grace and calmness. And his expertise is invaluable when it comes to implementing regulation and following policy and procedures.  (2011)

The Star Award, given by Catholic Social Services, is awarded to a person who has made a significant impact on the lives of others through his or her commitment, consistent with the values of Catholic Social Services. The Star Award is presented annually at Breakfast with the Bishop.

Roger Benjamin has served as a long-term care ombudsman (LTCOP) volunteer since 2005. He began volunteering at New Albany Nursing Care Center and soon began visiting the adjoining assisted living facility. At ombudsmen staff requests, he has also provided advocacy visits at additional nursing homes and assisted living facilities. For the past two years, Roger has regularly visited Emeritus at Chestnut Hill Assisted Living Community several times each month.

Roger has developed a strong working relationship with facility staff and residents recognize Roger as their advocate. Throughout the years, he has been very responsive to the needs of the staff ombudsmen and volunteer coordinator, and has participated in the Ohio Department of Aging’s focus group, providing excellent feedback on the volunteer training manual and volunteer report formats.

Roger works with residents to resolve uncomplicated complaints each time he visits and works closely with LTCOP staff on more complex issues. He presents detailed accounts of his activities to the long-term care ombudsman program enabling staff to identify trends and concerns requiring additional investigation and advocacy. When necessary, Roger has also submitted complaints to the Ohio Department of Health complaint hotline.

In the past five years, Roger has contributed 510 visits to Central Ohio long-term care facilities where he has touched the lives, visited, and advocated for more than 2,800 residents. Roger’s activities demonstrate his compassion and drive to gain quality care and quality life for every long-term care recipient he meets.

In addition to volunteering for the LTCOP, Roger also dedicated three years to Odyssey Hospice, where he received their volunteer of the month honors.

Prior to retirement, Roger worked as a patent attorney for Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals. He is married and has three adult sons four grandchildren.

Catholic Social Services appreciates his commitment to excellence and empathy for his fellow man and is honored to award Roger Benjamin, Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program volunteer the 2010 Star Award.  (2010)

If you are looking for a simple outreach strategy that will promote your program, recognize new volunteer LTCO and inform legislators of your program's activities and of their constituents' service, you may want to adopt the following practice from the Oregon LTCOP.

Once a volunteer LTCO is certified the Oregon LTCOP sends an email to the state legislators of the district where the volunteer will be assigned (the legislators prefer email communication over postal mail). The letter announces the recent appointment and certification of the volunteer LTCO, explains the role of the LTCO, names the facilities the volunteer will be visiting and states how many long-term care facilities are in the legislator's district. In addition to that information the letter highlights the number of hours of service the volunteer LTCO contributed statewide in the previous year and the value of their time.

In addition to LTCO appointment notification, the OR LTCOP emails legislators of districts in which they need more volunteers. This email explains the role of the LTCO, the need for volunteers in specific counties or cities in their district and an upcoming recruiting event in their district. The email also asks the legislator to include information about the upcoming recruitment event in their constituent communication and offers to answer any questions the legislator may have about the LTCO program.

Since 2004, The State of Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long Term Care Volunteer Ombudsman Award Program has paid tribute to the Founder of the Volunteer Ombudsman Program, and retired Board Member, Louise Abrahams Yaffe. The annual Louise Abrahams Yaffe Volunteer Ombudsman Program Award recognizes an outstanding Volunteer Ombudsman each year with a tangible acknowledgment of excellence at a formal banquet. The award is given to one local volunteer Ombudsman, selected through a formal nomination process, who has made a substantial impact on the lives of the residents served by the volunteer.  (2011)

Wisconsin Newsletter and Volunteer Recognition

Wisconsin Ombudsman Volunteer Edmond A. Weaver Receives 6th Annual Louise Abraham Yaffee Award

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