SWODA recruiting volunteers to work with elderly

posted Sep 12, 2016, 10:59 AM by Mary Peck

South Western Oklahoma Development Authority of Burns Flat is recruiting volunteers to protect the rights of many residents living in 22 nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  The goal of an Ombudsman volunteer is to assist residents in a long-term care facility live a quality life and to be treated with dignity and respect.

A free training for volunteers is scheduled for September 21-22 at the Western Technology Center located at 301 Western Drive in Elk City, Oklahoma. Training times are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Please RSVP to Gail Wilcox, SWODA Ombudsman Supervisor, at (800) 627-4882.

Volunteer Ombudsman are men and women who visit residents weekly, advocate for their concerns and serve as liaison with facility staff to help insure that the residents receive the highest standards care. Ombudsman volunteers are the voice of those who cannot speak for themselves.

The weekly visit to a facility, speaking to residents, provides many things other than advocacy. A volunteer provides a relationship many residents do not have otherwise. A volunteer hears historical information, provides stability, enables resident to smile and discuss life issues. You develop an engaging relationship full of trust and growth that brings you back each week.

“I look forward to visiting with the Ombudsman volunteer each week. That volunteer is my family. I have outlived my biological family.” Volunteers play a positive role in lives by being a mentor, friend and offering positive outcomes.

I personally encourage you to become a volunteer. There are many aging needing someone in their life to help them solve issues and develop friendships. Statistics prove that approximately 65% of long-term care residents lack visitors. Think of the endless opportunities you offer others with a positive outcome.

Your volunteer experience will make a positive impact on many lives as well as enhance your life. I hope you will consider checking out the possibilities.

For information about services for area aging, please contact Gail Wilcox, SWODA AAA ombudsman supervisor, 800-627-4882, ext. 132, or by email at gail@swoda.org.