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Recognizing Those Who Serve Others

Recognizing Those Who Serve Others

Rosalynn Carter says, “Without volunteers, we’d be a nation without a soul.” So as a nation, we celebrate volunteers this month. Volunteers are essential to the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program of Oklahoma. Ombudsman Volunteers are not just friendly visitors, they are trained to investigate complaints and resolve problems on behalf of the residents at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential care facilities, and homes of individuals with intellectual disabilities.

In its newest Value of Volunteer Time report, Independent Sector, with the Do Good Institute, announced on April 18, 2022 that the latest value of a volunteer hour is estimated to be $29.95. But we know Ombudsman Volunteers are much more valuable than monetary value.

Oklahoma Ombudsman Volunteers commit to spend two hours a week advocating for residents to receive better care, mediating to help solve resident complaints, and empowering residents by educating them of their rights. Ombudsman Volunteers are invaluable by being a steady presence at the facility.

The theme for the April 16-22, 2023, National Volunteer Week is Shining a Light on the People and Causes That Inspire Us to Serve. The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program of Oklahoma could not be its best without the volunteers who help carry out the mission of advocating for long-term care residents. COEDD Area Agency on Aging would like to shine some light on their current Ombudsman volunteers. We are grateful for them and the service they provide to long term care residents.

Ilaine Williams of Cleveland has served the residents of Cleveland Manor Nursing Home since May 2015. She continues to not only be a friendly, familiar face for residents but also a dedicated advocate.

Susan Tischer has been serving the residents of Heritage Skilled Nursing and Therapy in Tecumseh since January 2023. Susan is eager to support residents for better care and goes above and beyond in spending time to earn residents’ trust. She even joined Area Agency on Aging staff in attending Senior Day at the Capitol in February 2023.

If you are interested in serving residents in long term care facilities and would like more information of how to become an Oklahoma Long Term Care Ombudsman Volunteer. Please contact Ombudsman Supervisor, Denise Luzmoor at COEDD Area Agency on Aging at 405.273.6410, ext 133.

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