Ombudsman Training Available in Hollis, Mangum and Altus Areas

posted Mar 9, 2013, 6:36 PM by Latia Murray

Ombudsman training is now available in the (Hollis, Mangum, Altus) area. The two-day training will be held March 27 and 28. The first day will provide a history of the program followed by certification completion on the second day. 

The Ombudsman program provides a missing link for many residents in nursing homes and residential care facilities. Program volunteers go to these facilities weekly to visit with the residents and get to know them. If residents experience difficulty or have any problems, the volunteers are able to advocate on their behalf. 

“Only 30 to 35 percent of nursing home residents receive visitors on a regular basis,” said Samantha Walker, Ombudsman Supervisor at Southwestern Oklahoma Development Authority. 

Individuals interested in becoming an Ombudsman volunteer can attend the training without commitment. The training will provide knowledge about Long Term Care and the elderly as well as State and Federal guidelines pertaining to long term care. 

The Ombudsman program definitely benefits the residents of these facilities, but the volunteers may receive the biggest benefit of all. As Albert Einstein said, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” 

“I enjoy doing something for someone else, and this is something that helps them to have a better way of life,” said Minnie Ruth Ballew, an Ombudsman volunteer at Grace Living Center in Clinton for over twenty years. “I would encourage others to volunteer also,” said Minnie, “It is very rewarding and has greatly enriched my life.” 

Tom Sander is another Ombudsman volunteer. Tom has been handicapped his entire life and was not accepted into the military when he was younger. “Serving as a volunteer at the Veterans Center is my way of serving now.” said Tom. “When I walk in there’s a glow on their faces and mine too. It brings me the greatest joy!” 

The Ombudsman program serves Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita counties. 

To register for the upcoming training or for more information about the program, call Samantha Walker, Ombudsman Supervisor, at 580-562-4882 or email swalker@swoda.org.