Volunteer advocates needed!

posted Jan 5, 2017, 6:18 AM by Mary Peck

The Southwest Oklahoma Development Authority Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is looking for people who are empathetic, diplomatic, assertive and skilled communicators to be Volunteer Ombudsmen. Volunteer Ombudsmen perform invaluable work with residents and their families to resolve complaints or provide information and other assistance.

A free training for volunteers is scheduled for January 18-19 at the Southwestern Oklahoma Development Authority Office located at 420 Sooner Drive in Burns Flat, 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.

“Our focus on residents’ rights provides a vital link to quality of life and care for residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities within the SWODA service area,” said Gail Wilcox, SWODA ombudsman supervisor. By our regular presence, trust develops between the residents and the Ombudsman. The residents know someone is there to speak up for them.”

Some of the key functions of Volunteer Ombudsmen are:

·       Identify, investigate and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents;

·       Provide information to residents about long-term care services and their rights;

·       Advocate for changes to improve residents’ quality of life and care

“Our Volunteer Ombudsman are in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities working pro-actively to make sure that minor complaints and concerns don’t develop into major quality of life problems for residents,” said Wilcox.

The SWODA Ombudsman Program serves nursing homes in Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita Counties. For more information about the Ombudsman Program or to become a volunteer in your area, contact Gail Wilcox at (580) 562-4882.