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

Volunteer Appreciation Week

   

The theme for the April 21-27, 2024 National Volunteer Week is Celebrate Service – an opportunity to shine a light on the people and causes that inspire us to serve. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) could not be its best without the volunteers who help carry out the mission of advocating for long-term care residents.

In federal fiscal year 2022, staff and volunteers:

  • Worked to resolve 182,864 complaints initiated by residents, their families, and other concerned individuals;
  • Provided 407,817 instances of information and assistance to individuals;
  • Conducted 287,215 visits and 46,977 long-term care facilities received at least one visit.
  • Conducted 2,054 training sessions in facilities on such topics as resident rights;
  • Provided 162,072 instances of information and assistance to LTC facility managers and staff; and
  • Participated in 13,678 resident council and 1,079 family council meetings.

Thank your volunteers and recognize their work publicly by sending NORC brief messages of appreciation for their dedicated advocacy (e.g., examples of their advocacy, years of service, photos). We will post your message on our website and highlight the submissions on social media. Email your submissions to ombudcenter@theconsumervoice.org.

2024 National Volunteer Appreciation Week

2024 National Volunteer Appreciation Week

Idaho

The Idaho Ombudsman program in Area 3 held a Volunteer Appreciation breakfast with the State Ombudsman and the Agency's Executive Director. Each volunteer received a silver key chain that said, "Volunteers are Shining Stars."

 

Kentucky

In Kentucky's Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, our staff and volunteers are the backbone of the program. With the help of volunteers and staff, our long-term care ombudsman program can have a regular presence in Kentucky's LTC facilities and stay in touch with residents.  April is volunteer appreciation month. Thank you to our volunteers. We would not be able to carry out our mission of advocating for long-term care residents without you!

The Buffalo Trace Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program celebrates their volunteers who help make our mission of advocating for LTC residents possible. District ombudsman Amanda Grooms states, "We truly have the best group of volunteers who work together to serve the best residents and families in the state!" 

 

Maryland

As April arrives, accolades and praises develop  around recognition of volunteer appreciation.  A national week of gratitude is not enough to express the gratitude for the most admirable individuals who choose to dedicate their time and efforts as ombudsman advocates.  Relatively few individuals make it through the rigorous requirements in this voluntary counterpart to the workforce goals.  Creating a unique bond of equal status between ombudsman staff and their unpaid colleagues is unlike any other service opportunity.  There is autonomy and support which ingrains the values of putting a long term care resident in the center of everything, generating a virtuous and lofty command. 

I would like to extend my personal thanks to all who have endured the challenges and kept focused on the primary vocation.  “Nothing about me, without me” is the catch phrase which catapults and inspires staff and volunteers to work together as a force to empower the resident and create most special advocacy experience.

In my currently assigned duties, I continue to hear about some of the successful strategies which accomplish creative solutions. Each small strategic gain is worth celebrating all throughout the year!  Thank you to ombudsman volunteers and the staff members who support them in all the details it takes to keep them afloat! As a family member of a long term care residents and a professional with background in ombudsman work, please accept my heartfelt gratefulness for the choice of being an ombudsman volunteer!

With regards,

Eileen Bennett, Program Manager II
Montgomery County Dept of Health & Human Services

Minnesota

Words could never suffice in expressing the gratitude the Minnesota Office of Long-Term Care feels for our amazing volunteers. But this year we tried to do our best by putting personal messages of gratitude from the MN OOLTC team in a card to each of our Certified Ombudsman Volunteers (COVs).

In the Fall the MN OOLTC will host its annual COV recognition luncheon. The event features inspiring speeches from Cheryl Hennen, State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (and the greatest supporter of our COVs), as well as other distinguished special guest speakers. Regional Ombudsman give testimonials about the great work the COVs they supervise have done during the year, certificates of appreciation and gifts are given, plus there are a few surprises and many great success stories are shared.

To all our Certified Ombudsman volunteers, thank you for being the heroes of the Minnesota Office of Long-Term Care and champions of our vital mission of advocacy. As we celebrate National Volunteer Week and beyond, please know that every day you make a positive difference in the lives of the residents we serve, and it is our great honor to work with you.

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Ohio

  

To the Youngstown, Ohio regional Long-term Care Ombudsman Volunteer team: We are so thankful for your hard work and dedication to the Ombudsman program. Volunteers are a vital part of this program and you continue to make a difference in long-term care residents’ lives every day. We are so appreciative of your continued advocacy throughout the years! Happy National Volunteer Week to our volunteers, Maureen, Scott, Brenda, Bernie, Anu, Carol, David, Donna, Frances, Patricia, Joseph, Karen, Sharon, Thad, Daniella and Noel!!

Texas

The Alamo and Bexar teams in Texas celebrated their volunteers with a Fiesta party with food and pies. 

Virginia

At the Northern Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, we’re planning to have a volunteer appreciation luncheon towards the end of April and plan to provide a small gift (an umbrella) with a note saying:

Volunteers:
Rain or shine, you make a difference to the residents you serve during each visit. As a thank you for all that you do, we want to take this opportunity to shower you with gratitude!

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2023 National Volunteer Appreciation Week

2023 National Volunteer Appreciation Week

Alaska

The Alaska Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program shared this Powtoon video to thank their volunteers and highlight what they do. They are also sending a letter and certificate of appreciation to all of their volunteers, and they are posting "Meet Our Volunteer" posts on social media. See examples of these posts here, here, and here

Kentucky

The Buffalo Trace District LTC Ombudsman program shared a tribute to and photo collage of their program volunteers.

Maryland

The Montgomery County MD Long Term Care Ombudsman Program hosted a statewide appreciation of volunteers with a day-long workshop of skills building, fun, and self-reflection with their mentors. The core elements of ombudsman work includes pro-bono advocates who are dedicated to improving the quality of life an care for residents in nursing homes and assisted living. Nationally renowned author and speaker, Karen Stobbe, guided participants in experiencing various techniques affirming the skills needed to work with individual with dementia while "IN THE MOMENT". Each ombudsman volunteer received an autographed copy with an individual message of appreciation for their service as a "dementia warrior." The author and presenter, Karen Stobbe, provides training and support for direct caregivers through development of materials, corporate curriculum, individual workshops, and public media including a recent presentation at the International TED MED Conference. She is a working actress and director, using improvisational techniques throughout the dementia workshop sessions. Karen co-authored the Hand-in-Hand CMS Training Curriculum for nursing homes. Karen is the former Director of Education for the Pioneer Network and totally immersed in person-centered principles. Her other credentials include working with training curriculum for the National Alzheimer's Assn and the Eden Alternative. She has been featured in featured on NPR and presented at the International TED MED Conference She is the Chief Purpose Officer of the non-profit "In the Moment". FREE Resources can be found at their NEW SITE for Families of persons living with Dementia: www.beinginthemoment.org.

  

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