Specialized Information for:

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

Volunteer Recognition and Retention

In 2016, 7,331 certified volunteer Ombudsman program representatives contributed 609,843 hours of service to Ombudsman programs across in the country (according to the NORS data). The Independent Sector determined the estimated value of a volunteer hour in 2016 was $24.14. For the Ombudsman program, that is over $14 million of assets due to volunteer service!

 


Ombudsman Recognition Ideas and Tips

NORC Ombudsman Compendium, Chapter 3 - Retention
This chapter provides tools and strategies to enhance retention of skilled and effective volunteers.

NORC Ombudsman Compendium, Chapter 3 – Retention – Appendices
The appendices include Ombudsman program recognition and retention examples, such as:

 


Ombudsman Program Examples

Oregon

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.

Wisconsin
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)

 


Volunteer Apprecation Around the Nation

NORC encourages ombudsman programs to thank their volunteers and recognize their work publicly by sending brief messages of appreciation for their dedicated advocacy (e.g., examples of their advocacy, years of service, photos). These messages were shared by programs and featured on the NORC website and social media for Volunteer Appreciation Week in April 2017. 

New York


Each year our the New York City Ombudsman Program acknowledges the important contributions New Yorkers make to the city through their service. The New York LTCOP is proud to announce the names of Long-Term Care Ombudsmen who have been awarded the Mayor’s Service Award for 2016 this April 2017. Many of these volunteers have helped with systems advocacy, mentored new volunteers, served 100 plus hours, and all have consistently advocated for their residents. 

Manhattan: Charles Gourgey

Brooklyn: Tama Lipton

Queens: Claudia Milton   

Brooklyn: Norma Mascarotti

Brooklyn: Donald Myrie

Brooklyn: Maryann Cerami.

Brooklyn: Evangeline Parker-Smith   

Queens: Charles Ephraim

Queens: Francine Balke 

Queens: Dolores Genentz

Bronx: Gary Cherebin

Queens: Mark Alexander

Brooklyn: Valerie Harris  

Brooklyn: Mary Johnson-Mills

Queens: Gloria White

Manhattan: Sheila Kresch

Queens: Ira Walkenfeld   

 Bronx: Edward Padilla

Brooklyn: Joan Hoberman 

This entire section will be implemented in Phase 1.

Bronx: Lyone Hall

Bronx: Priscilla Crowell

Manhattan: Miklos Toth

Bronx: Monica Jones-Roberts

Manhattan: Petronella Thomas

Manhattan: Renee Dunn

Queens: Yvonne Plummer

Brooklyn: Emanuel Turner

 

This award is being presented this April 2017. Below are photos of some of the ombudsmen doing outreach and one of Ira Walkenfeld receiving his 2016 President's Volunteer Service Award at the 2016 Volunteer Appreciation Event on December 10, 2016. The appreciation event is held every year in December. The LTCOP also offers an Ombudsman of the Month Award. Below is also a photo of the award for Manhattan ombudsman Petronella Thomas for April. 

          

Maryland


Cecil County

"I would like to thank Cecil County’s Volunteer Ombudsman, Rhonda Combs, who has been volunteering for just over 1 year. She has completed all required Tier 1 & Tier 2 trainings, attends extra trainings with myself, and is involved with the community by attending an Inner Agency Roundtable meeting each quarter. Most of all she displays dedication, consistency and trustworthiness as she visits and advocates for the residents in one nursing home and two assisted living facilities. I have benefited from her professionalism and her wealth of nursing knowledge. The local Ombudsman program has risen to a new level of effectiveness. - Sincerely, Dianne Croom"

Montgomery County

                                                                       
                                              Arthur Lappen, Volunteer Ombudsman, Montgomery County

On April 24, 2017, volunteer Ombudsman Arthur Lappen was selected to represent the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area on Cabot's Community Celebrity Cruise in early June. The Alaskan cruise will celebrate more than 60 "Community Celebrities" nationwide whose volunteer work has made a substantial impact on the lives of others. For more than 20 years, Lappen has been a volunteer advocate for the Montgomery County Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program in Maryland, working over 5,000 hours of service and making 2,500 regular visits to residents. 

To Lappen, volunteer advocacy is vital to ensuring that the rights of long-term care residents in Montgomery County are protected. “I volunteer as an ombudsman to give seniors a voice and insure that their statutorily mandated rights are respected,” said Lappen. “Long term care is best delivered when we listen to an individual's wishes, serve as the individual's advocate and reach the best possible outcome.”

Long-term care residents across Montgomery County know Lappen as a reliable, devoted advocate who is driven by a passion for positive change. His wife Margie will join him on the cruise soon after their 51st anniversary celebration. Eileen Bennett, Program Manager of the Montgomery County LTC Ombudsman Program, stated that the program is thrilled to see Lappen's hard work being celebrated along with so many other honorable volunteers. To read more about Arthurt Lappen and the seventh annual Cabot Community Celebrity Cruise, click here.

Montgomery County

Photos from the Volunteer Appreciation event Sunday, April 23, 2017 where Cabot Cheese Gratitude Grille prepared and provided the lunch for programs and it was announced that through competitive nomination the ombudsman volunteer, Arthur Lappen, was selected to be the DC Metro area representative on a cruise to Alaska along with other regional volunteers across the country.  

                                

Idaho


"We always have a Volunteer Recognition Luncheon every spring at a local restaurant. This year there will be 12 volunteers attending. We have a budget, of course, but we choose a place where we can easily converse with one another, that serves great food, and makes a special effort to support the recognition.  


Martin Petersen

While all the volunteers are recognized, there are two that deserve special recognition. Martin Petersen has been with the program since 2010. He has a big heart and an energetic personality. He makes the residents laugh, shows special interest in each one, and is effective in solving problems. He is our only volunteer that is assigned to both assisted living and skilled nursing facilities.


Paulette Anderson

Paulette Anderson has been in the program since 2012. She, too, has a big heart and gets to know the residents well by spending ample time with each one listening to their stories and concerns. Paulette is assigned to an assisted living facility with three houses. Both ombudsmen have been consistent in visiting, and dedicated to advocating for resident rights, quality of care and quality of life for all the residents they serve. We’re honored to have them on our team of exceptional volunteers. - Jan Noyes"

Ohio


The Ohio Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program recognizes their volunteers during statewide continuing education. There are 25 volunteers with at least 100 hours of service. These volunteers will receive pins and a letter from the Governor. 

 

Minnesota


"As State Ombudsman for Minnesota , myself and all staff officially thank MN Certified Ombudsman Volunteers and honor you. The  words are somewhat hard to find to express  our gratitude to you for choosing to join our statewide network of leaders and advocates working to improve the quality care and quality of life for elders needing long-term care services. Thank you  for the many hours you give making site visits, meeting with residents, and attending trainings. 

Thank you for your enthusiasm, your willingness to keep learning about long-term care by attending regional trainings. You are truly life-long learners.  Thank you for your patience with government bureaucracy which manifests itself in rules/policies/procedures, etc. and many documentation requirements.  MN Volunteers have helped us reach compliance with new Ombudsman Federal Regulation.

You choose to work to help long-term care residents when there are many other, probably more glamorous or “easy” volunteer opportunities available to you.  Many people are hesitant to step inside a long-term care setting. Nor do they want to confront their own aging.  It would be easy to choose to ignore persons who are losing their independence.  You serve the important role as the eyes, ears and voice for people, who need help and support to make their needs known or express a concern, and for those who simply can’t speak for themselves any longer. 

Your role is increasingly recognized by state and federal policy makers, legislators, and long-term care providers as a critical part of the quality assurance system to protect vulnerable adults.  Everyone recognizes that rules, regs and inspection are necessary, but not sufficient to assure best practices are carried out.  Long-term care settings are striving to continually improve quality. 

A change in culture , perception , and attitudes towards aging is necessary and relies on all citizens to create community awareness.  Any long-term care setting is a part of a community just like all other living establishments that make up neighborhoods all across the country.  This is what you as MN Ombudsman Volunteers provide with each and every  visit made to a long-term care residence.  Armed with knowledge and compassion you create awareness of what is expected and what is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

To all MN Certified Volunteers ,  I want to thank you especially for your compassion.  What you truly mean to the residents you visit on a regular basis is more than you may know.

-Cheryl Hennen
Minnesota State Long-Term Care Ombudsman"

Washington


Volunteer Ombudsmen in South West Washington.

Douglas Samuels, Volunteer Ombudsman, and top winner of volunteer hours in 2016 with 581 hours served. Douglas visits four assisted living and several adult family homes, and serves on our advisory committee as well.

Rose Robison, Volunteer Ombudsman, and top winner of all-time volunteer hours with 3138 hours served. Rose is 86 years young, has been a volunteer since December of 2001, and regularly visits one assisted living and multiple adult family homes.

Our annual recognition luncheon this past January, with 24 out of 32 volunteers attending. Each volunteer received a certificate for time served, a thank-you card with gift card included, as well as participation in a raffle of many donated prizes. Our volunteers in 2016 donated a total of 4763 hours!

California


The San Bernardino County Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program would like to thank our highly-trained volunteers who continue to respond to the needs of residents living in skill nursing homes, residential care facilities and assisted living. These volunteers remain steadfast in their advocacy efforts to provide key services that make a difference in the lives of the residents they serve.

 

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