Minnie Ruth Bellew, 93, of Canute is one of the longest-serving volunteers for the South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) Ombudsman program. The program recently celebrated Minnie Ruth’s 23 years of service and retirement with a luncheon in her honor. She was an enjoyable presence at the Grace Living Center of Clinton for the entirety of her service and will continue to be a valuable asset to the Clinton community and aging population.
Even with a busy life schedule, Minnie Ruth prioritized her time to volunteer. She remarks, “Volunteering is like icing on the cake for me.”
Minnie Ruth began her service to help others in a time of need; however, the residents have blessed her more. She always remarks that volunteering is the best way to make new friends, and volunteers are the glue to make communities a better place. She reminds us that residents are priceless individuals with hearts of gold and that their conversation helps us more than we help them.
Minnie Ruth was never afraid of advocating on resident’s behalf. She wanted to know if somebody answers the call light when the resident pushes it. She wanted to know if there were food choices. Do the staff members speak in languages the residents understand? Are the resident homes clean? Is each resident treated with respect? Minnie Ruth cared about each facet of long-term care provided to residents.
Minnie Ruth shares, “Ombudsman volunteers give back to the aging population in a mighty way. It is my chance to make a difference in a life.”
Gail Wilcox, ombudsman supervisor, says, “Minnie Ruth will certainly be missed by all, but she deserves the retirement. She is the stellar example for each of us to follow.”
Today, in the eight counties of SWODA’s coverage area, the ombudsman supervisor advocates for residents residing in 22 different facilities (approximately 2,000 beds). The volunteers in each facility build lasting relationships with residents often resulting in an extension of family.
Ombudsman volunteers are always welcomed and needed at facilities within the eight county SWODA area (Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita counties). Gail Wilcox, ombudsman supervisor, offers free ombudsman trainings in your community. Contact Gail for further information at 800-562-4882, ext. 132.
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