Specialized Information for:

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

Volunteer Recognition and Retention

In federal fiscal year 2020, 5,152 volunteers trained and designated to investigate and resolve complaints, contributed 250,514 hours of service to Ombudsman programs across the country (according to the NORS data). The Independent Sector determined the estimated value of a volunteer hour in 2020 was $27.20. For the Ombudsman program, that is $6.8 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:


Recognizing the Importance of Volunteers (April 21, 2022)

Webinar Materials:


Ombudsman Program Examples


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)


Volunteer Appreciation 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. View appreciation messages here.

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