New York's Office for the Aging is putting out the call for volunteers interested in having a direct impact on the quality of life of the elderly living in long-term care facilities with the Niagara County Ombudsman Program.
Administered by the Dale Association, as a trained ombudsman (or resident advocate), participants will monitor the quality of care the residents receive in the facility, help them to solve their problems and communicate their needs with the facility. An ombudsman can have a positive impact on the quality of life of the residents, in as little as four hours a week. This is a volunteer experience for compassionate people with good communication skills and a willingness to be of service to the elderly. Training facility and adult facilities are handicapped accessible.
"Just being with the residents is rewarding. I learn what beautiful lives they have lived," says Pat Levisy, an ombudsman volunteer (left) shown with resident Harold Britton. "If I can make them smile, it warms my heart. I'm there to visit, but also to help resolve issues that they're having. Sometimes it might seem like a little problem, but to them it's big, it affects the quality of their day. That's why I'm there. "
The next training program is offered Feb. 13-16. For more information on how to become a Niagara County ombudsman, contact Nancy Smith, ombudsman coordinator, at 433-3344, ext. *1.