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Ombudsmen Volunteers Needed to Advocate for Long-Term Care Residents

Aug 25, 2022

Assistance Needed in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara Counties
Certification training will be held this fall for people interested in advocating for residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara Counties.

The NYS Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, supported locally by People Inc., connects caring and effective advocates with older adults and people with disabilities who live in nursing homes, assisted living and other licensed adult care homes.

Volunteers, known as ombudsmen, visit residents to identify concerns. They investigate and resolve complaints to advocate for the rights of people living in long-term care facilities. Ombudsman volunteers assist with monitoring resident care and building conditions, while working with facility staff to correct problems, using a range of problem-resolution and advocacy skills.

“Ombudsmen volunteers are urgently needed to serve society’s most vulnerable population,” said Susan Fenster, regional director. “Our volunteers can make a tremendous difference in someone’s life.”

Upon successful completion of a 36-hour training program, Ombudsman volunteers are certified by the NY State Office for the Aging, work closely with their staff supervisor and are assigned to a facility in their area where they make weekly visits to meet with the facility residents. Schedules are flexible with a minimum of two hours per week.

The upcoming training will be provided virtually via Zoom on weekday evenings beginning in October. In-facility mentoring is also part of the curriculum.

Volunteer opportunities are available for those who work in professional fields, such as paralegals, human service staff, social workers and business professionals. Many volunteers are also recent retirees, ranging from those who have worked within education systems, administration or engineering fields. 

For more information on volunteering, call 716-817-9222.

People Inc., a multispecialty non-profit health and human services agency, provides programs and services to more than 12,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, families and older adults throughout Western New York and the Greater Rochester region. Since 1970, People Inc. has assisted people to achieve greater degrees of independence and productivity. With nearly 4,000 employees, People Inc. is one of the region’s largest employers. To learn more, visit, follow People Inc. on Facebook or Twitter @PeopleIncNews.