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Volunteers needed to advocate for nursing home residents

Long-Term Care Ombudsman volunteers honored during National Volunteer Week

To coincide with National Volunteer Week in April, Minnesota’s State Ombudsman for Long-Term Care is calling for more volunteers.

Long-term care volunteers bring passion and value to their work in nursing care facilities across Minnesota. With training and direction from the Office of the State Ombudsman for Long-Term Care, volunteers champion the office’s mission to empower, educate and advocate for the rights of Minnesotans receiving long-term care services and supports.

Certified volunteers assist paid regional ombudsmen to investigate and advocate for residents in nursing homes and assisted living settings. Residents are often unable, uncomfortable or, in some cases, fearful to advocate for themselves. With a resident’s consent, volunteers assist regional ombudsmen responding to residents’ concerns through complaint investigations.

“I honor all Certified Ombudsman Volunteers for their commitment and dedication,” said Cheryl Hennen, State Ombudsman for Long-Term Care. “I started my career in the Ombudsman’s office as a Certified Ombudsman Volunteer. The experience for me was priceless. These volunteers are vital to the success of achieving improved quality of care and quality of life.”

National Volunteer Week, which runs April 21-27, is dedicated to recognizing the impact of volunteer service and encouraging volunteerism.

Volunteers needed

The state is looking for volunteers who are passionate about serving people in long-term care.

There are more than 2,500 nursing homes and assisted living facilities across Minnesota. Fewer than 50 of those facilities currently have a Certified Ombudsman Volunteer. The difference a Certified Ombudsman Volunteer makes in the lives of long-term care residents is immeasurable.

The greatest volunteer needs are in:

• Alexandria

• Breckenridge

• Chatfield

• Dawson

• Detroit Lakes

• Duluth area

• Eveleth

• Fergus Falls

• Faribault

• Grand Rapids

• Hastings

• International Falls

• Luverne

• Madison

• Moorhead

• Northfield

• Owatonna

• Red Wing

• Silver Bay

• Spring Valley

• Two Harbors

• Virginia

• Wabasso

• Waseca

• Wheaton

• Willmar

• Winona

• Worthington

If you are interested in becoming a Certified Ombudsman Volunteer, visit https://mn.gov/ooltc/volunteerwithus for more information.

To contact the Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care with any residents’ rights concerns, visit https://mn.gov/ooltc/contactus/. The office provides free confidential advocacy services.

 

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