People who live in assisted living facilities and nursing homes are among the most vulnerable in our community. Many don’t have families or friends to look after or advocate for them. The Ombudsman Program gives these members of our community a voice to help them feel valued and heard. CareLink’s Ombudsman Program is supervised by two regional ombudsman who work with a team of volunteers to ensure seniors at these locations throughout Central Arkansas are represented.
What Does an Ombudsman Do?
Ombudsmen are representatives for those living in long-term care, assisted living facilities, or nursing homes. They listen to the residents’ complaints and work to uncover any problems the residents may be experiencing with the facility, the staff, or the level of care they are receiving. The ombudsmen act as a voice for the elders in long term care facilities and work to protect their rights and ensure that their issues are heard and resolved.
Typically, an ombudsman will visit his or her assigned facility on a weekly basis. In addition to looking into issues and problems, he or she will spend time with the residents getting to know them and learning about their lives. Many of our volunteers say this is the most rewarding part of volunteering.
Duties of Volunteer Ombudsman
- Inform residents of their rights under federal and state law and assist them in protecting their rights
- Provide information about the Ombudsman Program to residents and their families
- Refer complaints and concerns to the Regional Ombudsman
- Observe and report conditions in nursing homes to the Regional Ombudsman
- Perform regular visitation to one specific nursing home, assisted living or residential care facility
How Do I Become a Volunteer Ombudsman?
If you are interested in senior advocacy in Arkansas, you may want to consider becoming a volunteer ombudsman. You must be 18 years or older to apply and you cannot have any family members living or working in the facility to which you are assigned.
There are no special requirements you have to fulfill to become an ombudsman other than good communication skills, a positive attitude, and genuinely caring for your community’s seniors. CareLink will provide you with all the training you will need to become a certified ombudsman:
- 8 hours of classroom training
- A 12-hour nursing home practicum
- Quarterly in-service training classes
What You Need to Know
- An ombudsman is an advocate for seniors in long term care facilities
- Ombudsmen help with reporting senior abuse in Arkansas
- Anyone can become a volunteer ombudsman
- Volunteer Ombudsman certification requires attendance at a 2 day training
- You can apply to be a Volunteer Ombudsman through our online application
How to Become an Ombudsman for Seniors in Central Arkansas
If you are interested in serving in our Volunteer Ombudsman Program, click below to fill out an online application. Call us for more information on this important, life-changing program.