Long Term Care Volunteers make a difference in the lives of residents
North and South Carolina Long Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman Program seeks to enhance the quality of life for the residents of both North and South Carolina’s Long Term Care facilities. This encompasses advocating for Residents’ Rights and the prevention of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. Resident Rights’ include the entitlement to voice grievances without retaliation, to be free of chemical and physical restraints and the right to be treated with respect and dignity.
Volunteer Ombudsman (SC)/Community Advisory Committee Volunteers(NC) are an essential part of achieving the Long Term Ombudsman’s goal of improving and maintaining the highest quality of life for LTC residents. They receive comprehensive training in order to develop the skills to become a certified Volunteer, also known as “Friendly Visitor”. They serve to improve resident and facility awareness of critical issues such as Residents’ Rights and provide a link between the resident and the community.
The Volunteer Ombudsman/Community Advisory Committee Volunteers makes routine friendly visits which reduce the sense of isolation and loneliness experienced by residents. Statistics state that sixty percent of residents in long term care facilities have no visitors and many are not informed of their rights as LTC residents. Volunteers can reduce isolation by developing intimate lasting relationships with residents. These relationships provide encouragement and assist residents in achieving a sense of self – determination with dignity. The Volunteer Ombudsman/Community Advisory Committee Volunteer strives to affirm the LTC Ombudsman’s goal of helping residents achieve self-fulfillment and independence.
These Volunteers are an important resource for staff in long term care facilities. Volunteers help ensure that the lines of communication between residents and staff remain open and empower residents to advocate for themselves.
They are also very worthwhile to the residents and it has been demonstrated that the benefits can be even greater for the volunteer, themselves. Studies have documented that volunteering can increase self-confidence, provide a sense of accomplishment, pride and identity. Volunteerism has been linked to better mental and physical health and increased feelings of life satisfaction.
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If you are interested in learning more about the:
SC Volunteer Ombudsman Program call 803-329-9670 or toll-free 800-662-8330 for Chester, Lancaster, Union and York counties in SC
NC Community Advisory Committee volunteers
800-508-5777 for Anson, Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties in NC
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Volunteers must be 18 years and older, have a valid license and transportation, pass a criminal background check, have no conflict of interest and complete required training. The most important requirements are compassion, respect for older persons, and common sense.