By Jim Crochet, State Ombudsman
To celebrate National Volunteer Week, I want to recognize the group of nearly 300 volunteer ombudsmen who give so much of their time and energy advocating for over 160,000 Floridians living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and adult family-care homes.
Residents in long-term care facilities represent our friends and family members who often need an extra voice to ensure that their right to age with dignity, choice and autonomy is respected.
Volunteer ombudsmen of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program seek to protect the health, safety, welfare and rights of Florida’s most vulnerable population. During this week when we celebrate the work of all volunteers, the Ombudsman Program would like to specifically honor the accomplishments of our committed volunteers.
Last year, volunteer ombudsmen traveled a total of 365,412 miles across Florida’s 67 counties and gave over 70,000 service hours to meet with residents, conduct annual facility assessments, train facility staff and residents and investigate complaints, attempting to resolve any complaints to the residents’ satisfaction. Nine district-wide resident council meetings were hosted around the state by ombudsmen volunteers and staff, where residents from multiple area facilities gathered with their caregivers and family members to discuss issues, share ideas and encourage residents to understand and advocate for their rights.
The Ombudsman Program is proud to boast in the work of its dedicated and passionate volunteers and we are always looking for more individuals to join our team. If you would like to work with us to better the lives of long-term care facility residents contact 1-888-831-0404 or visit ombudsman.myflorida.com to find out how you can volunteer.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program