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

Volunteer Appreciation Week

The theme for the April 19-25, 2020 National Volunteer Week is Celebrate Service. The 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 2018, staff and volunteers:

  • Worked to resolve 194,516 complaints initiated by residents, their families, and other concerned individuals;
  • Provided 409,311 instances of information and assistance to individuals;
  • Visited 73% of all nursing homes and 32% of all board and care, assisted living, and similar homes at least quarterly;
  • Conducted 4,287 training sessions in facilities on such topics as resident rights;
  • Provided 134,074 instances of information and assistance to LTC facility managers and staff; and
  • Participated in 21,664 resident council and 1,757 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.

2020 National Volunteer Appreciation Week

2020 National Volunteer Appreciation Week

Alaska

The Alaska Long-Term Care Ombudsman Office shared this Facebook post and emailed the same photo to volunteers with a note of thanks.

Michigan

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan Ombudsman program celebrates its volunteers remotely. Shelby Coolbaugh, Administrative Manager for the MLTCOP, spent hours sewing face masks for volunteers and paid ombudsmen. She said "It is just a small way I feel I can contribute to the safety of others."  The State Ombudsman Office will be mailing two masks to each volunteer with a certificate of appreciation for their commitment to the program. View a photo of the masks.

Minnesota

The Minnesota Ombudsman programs always sends a “special edition” newsletter during volunteer week and hosts a more formal recognition event in the summer. 

Missouri

The Missouri State Long-Term Care Ombusdman, Jenny Hollandsworth, wrote a letter to volunteers thanking them for their work.

Ohio

The Northeast Ohio Ombudsman Program near Cleveland shared this photo on their Facebook page.

Linda Kerdolff, Long-Term Care Ombudsman Specialist with Pro Seniors, Inc. from Cincinnati shared this photo of their volunteers.

South Carolina

The Appalachian Region of South Carolina sent personalized thank you cards with $15.00 Publix gift cards to their volunteers. They are also posting a daily Facebook appreciation message on their page Volunteer Ombudsman Program Appalachian Region.

The Waccamaw Region of South Carolina sent journals to their volunteers along with other appreciation goodies and a protective facemask compliments of K&K Fashions of Royalty, see photo here.

Region 5 in South Carolina sent greeting cards of thanks with Downtown Dollars included to go shopping when downtown Aiken stores reopen. They also posted a thanks on their main office Facebook page which was shared by the regional Ombudsman's personal page with tags of the volunteer Ombudsmen. 

The Catawba Area of South Carolina has a small but extremely dedicated group of volunteers. This year we were able to treat the volunteers to a small gift set from a regional soap company. Sets included hand soap selections and hand cream - super important during the current crisis. We mailed hand written thank you notes, and are featuring a daily volunteer appreciation post on our AAA Facebook page. We also mailed notes to individuals who previously inquired about training with us (before the outbreak), to let them know we looked forward to having them join our program. Thanks to ALL of the Volunteers! Stay safe and heathy! - Sarah Dunning, Long Term Care Ombudsman Specialist

Texas

Texas Bexar and Alamo Ombudsman

We would like to share what our programs have been collaborating on in acknowledgement of Volunteer Appreciation week. This picture collage will be sent to our Volunteer Ombudsman and will be followed by a collage of individual thank you messages from our staff. Our final grand gesture we will be showing them a video collage of staff Ombudsman answering the question “What does a volunteer mean to me?” The video will be shown during a Volunteer Online GoToMeeting hosted by Bexar and Alamo Ombudsman staff.  Thank you for everything you do to support Ombudsman throughout our great nation! - Angela Menchaca, Ombudsman Outreach Specialist, Alamo Area Council of Governments, Area Agencies on Aging

We each took some time gathering some clipart that matched our thoughts, took some time to write, create sidewalk art, or create a poster board quote to try and express our gratitude for the work that our volunteers are doing for our program. We hope you enjoy all our collective thoughts.

Day 1 – Monday, April 21, Photo

Day 2 – Tuesday, April 22, 2020 Photo

Day 3 – Wednesday, April 22, 2020 Photo

Day 4 – Thursday, April 23 Video - We finished off the week by having an online meeting with volunteers where we shared our finale virtual token of appreciation which was a video collage of our staff answering the question “what do volunteers mean to me?”  We hope that you all enjoy as much as we enjoyed creating.  

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2019 National Volunteer Appreciation Week

 

2019 National Volunteer Appreciation Week

Idaho


"Our ombudsman program in North Idaho is strong with 20 volunteer assistant ombudsmen. Managing all the facility visits and advocating for the many residents we serve would be a challenge without them. We are so grateful for their heart-centered dedication. Thank you!" –Jan Young, Regional Ombudsman—Roseanna Lewis, Associate Ombudsman and Volunteer Mentor-- Jan Noyes, Associate Ombudsmen and Volunteer Coordinator

Minnesota


"I would love to publicly recognize the wonderful work of the Minnesota Certified Ombudsman Volunteers. Here is a brief message to be shared highlighting some of their work." - Dana Manteufel, Volunteer Coordinator, Minnesota Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care

New York


Gloria Murray is the Ombudsman Program Director for the Hudson Valley Ombudsman Program in New York State.  Below is a sample of the email she sent to their group of volunteers, thanking them for making a difference in the their program and in the lives of older adults residing in long-term care facilities.

Ohio


"Thank you to Ohio’s 200 valued Long-Term Care Ombudsman Associates who help residents expect excellence.  We appreciate the 9000+ hours donated to ensure that residents are comfortable in their home, exercise their right to choose, and receive quality care.  Happy National Volunteer Week!" - Bev Laubert, Ohio State Long-Term Care Ombudsman

Pennsylvania


The Ombudsman Program of the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, Inc., recognized the PEERs (Pennsylvania Empowered Expert Residents) at the DuBois Nursing Home.  Their photo appeared in the local newspaper.  

Thirteen residents of the DuBois Nursing Home were recently honored for their volunteer service in recognition of National Volunteer Week, April 7-13.  All residents completed a 10-hour training session to become Pennsylvania Empowered Expert Residents (PEER) with the Pennsylvania Department of Aging's Ombudsman Program.  They learned to advocate for themselves and their fellow residents and concluded a minimum of one year's service at DNH. Ombudsman Jeanne Urban presented each PEER with a copy of N. Jean Dobay's book, Turning aWarehouse into a Community: A Story of Humanity.  It is the story of how one resident's ideas sparked action that forever changed the nursing home industry and created a true home for 450 long-term care residents.

1st Row: PEERs Bob Roush, Joanna Frederick, A. Jayne Tucker, Alice Marvin, Nora Marie Davis, Joseph Roy &; Doris Broomall.
2nd Row: Ombudsman Jeanne Urban, PEERs Joanna Frederick, Mary Ann Kunselman, Patty Walker, Ted Davis, Benny Knepp, Carolyn Lettie & Karen Ford.
Missing from the photo is PEER Bill Blair.

 

Diana Davis, a resident of the DuBois Village Personal Care Home, was recently honored for her volunteer service in recognition of National Volunteer Week, April 7-13.  Diana has previously completed a 10-hour training session to become Pennsylvania Empowered Expert Residents (PEER) with the Pennsylvania Department of Aging's Ombudsman Program.  She learned to advocate for herself and for her fellow residents and concluded a minimum of one year's service at DuBois Village, where she is actively involved in the resident council.  Ombudsman Jeanne Urban presented Diana with a copy of N. Jean Dobay's book, Turning a Warehouse into a Community: A Story of Humanity.  It is the story of how one resident's ideas sparked action that forever changed the nursing home industry and created a true home for 450 long-term care residents.

 

Texas


"I, Jorge Soto Managing Local Ombudsman from the Rio Grande office in El Paso Texas, would like to thank all of my certified volunteers for the hard and great work that have provided to all the residents in El Paso. Thank you for your dedication and I hope you continue with us to advocate for those in need of a voice." - Jorge Soto, MSW, Managing Local Ombudsman, Area Agency on Aging Rio Grande Council of Government

Shazia Sultan, MPH, Managing Local Ombudsman, Brazos Valley Council of Governments (BVCOG), created this video to thank her volunteers.


"We celebrated with our Alamo and Bexar volunteers at our luncheon yesterday! We are so lucky to have such an amazing and giving group." - Heather Armstrong



 

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2018 National Volunteer Appreciation Week

What is your program doing to recognize the volunteers who give their time to visit and advocate with and for individuals that live in long-term care facilities? The week of April 15 to 21, National Volunteer Week, is a perfect time to reach out and say thanks for volunteering with your program and making a difference in the lives of the residents. 

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 our home page. Email your submissions to ombudcenter@theconsumervoice.org.

Alaska


We are proud to share pictures of our own Long-Term Care Ombudsman volunteer, Ray Tinjum, as he accepts the Ron Hammett Award for Outstanding Service to Seniors! This prestigious award is presented by the Senior Citizens Advisory Commission, Municipality of Anchorage. Ray is pictured below with Theresa Brisky, RN/Administrator of Marlow Manor Assisted Living Facility where Ray volunteers as a resident advocate.

       

Idaho


Here are the current ombudsman volunteers with the Area Agency of North Idaho. Some of the volunteers are new this year and some have been with the program as long as 5 years. Each volunteer is assigned to a facility and each is doing an outstanding job of advocating for the residents!

Kentucky


In celebration of National Volunteer Appreciation Week I wanted to share a few comments from residents about the wonderful volunteers who visit them and help them work to resolve concerns. - Sherry Culp, Kentucky State Ombudsman

I don't know what I would do without my buddy (ombudsman). She comes to check on me and if things aren't going right I can depend on her to help me get it worked out.

I don't have any family around here. He's just about the only person who comes to visit me. We've got a lot in common. We both like the Wildcats (UK) and grew up around the same place. He's good to talk to.

Hear Doris talk about her experiences below.

 

Texas


Alamo Area Council of Governments
We have given a luncheon for our agency Volunteers. The event was held on April 19th at the Fort Sam Houston Golf Course in San Antonio, Texas. We had a keynote speaker and at the end of the event we handed out gifts of a new briefcase for their use with their volunteer position. They also received a thank you card with a 50th anniversary Fiesta Medal inside.

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2017 National Volunteer Appreciation Week

 

 

The week of April 23 to 29, National Volunteer Week, is a perfect time to reach out and say thanks for volunteering with your program and making a difference in the lives of the residents. 

Volunteer Appreciation Around the Nation

NORC encouraged 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). The messages are posted on this page of the website and will be highlighted on social media. Email your submissions to ombudcenter@theconsumervoice.org.

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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