Q: Do I need to have special education or knowledge to serve as an Ombudsman?
A: Qualifications for serving as an Ombudsman Volunteer include reliability, sensitivity, tact, resourcefulness, assertiveness and a sense of humor. Training will help you develop skills in problem- solving and communication and increase your knowledge of long-term care facilities and the laws and regulations under which they operate.
Q: How much time do I need to be able to devote to be an Ombudsman volunteer? What will I be doing as a volunteer?
A: While the exact amount of time varies, you will need to undergo two initial training sessions, each lasting approximately six hours, followed by monthly in-service training. There is no charge for the training, and attending training does not obligate you to serve in the volunteer Ombudsman Program. Ombudsman volunteers make a commitment to visit their assigned facilities weekly to listen to the concerns of residents and their families. You can be a resource for information or work to resolve problems for residents. A short monthly report of activities is required.
Q: Who is eligible for services offered by the INCOG Area Agency on Aging Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program?
A: Services are available to Creek, Osage and Tulsa County residents of long-term care facilities. People who are in the process of selecting a facility can receive a packet of information that includes a directory of all facilities in the area, important observations to make, and a checklist for comparing facilities. Ombudsman Supervisors can provide information about deficiencies cited at the most recent inspections of specific facilities. Services are free of charge.