You Can Make A Difference!


Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

June 13, 2003

 

You Can Make A Difference!

 

If you are empathetic, diplomatic, a good communicator and enjoy meeting people, we have an opportunity for you! Volunteer ombudsmen are needed to make weekly visits to a specific nursing home or assisted living facility in your community. Using the skills of listening, observing and mediating, the ombudsman works with the residents, their families and the staff of the facility to ensure that the residents' rights are being protected.

Interviews of applicants will begin in July. The training for prospective volunteer ombudsmen will be Sept. 18, 19 and 25, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. Applicants must be able to volunteer four hours per week, during regular business hours.

The ombudsman empowers residents to speak up on their own behalf and helps them to address problems within the facility that they cannot resolve alone. The ombudsman also intervenes with the staff for residents who have dementia and/or lack the ability to communicate. Some of the issues that volunteers have handled include: inadequate help to eat or drink; staff shortages; food quality or choice; inadequate hygiene care; nurse-calling devices out of reach; lack of meaningful or appropriate activities; and building safety hazards. Often the volunteer ombudsmen have suggested creative solutions that the facility staff has adopted.

The initial three-day training addresses such issues as residents' rights; the long-term care resident's health care needs; communicating with people with physical or mental impairments; long term care facility personnel and operation; and complaint handling. Periodic in-service training is provided thereafter.

The ombudsman program is a public service primarily funded by the Area Agencies on Aging of five local jurisdictions (cities of Alexandria and Arlington, and Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties). If you are not employed by a long-term care facility and can commit one year to this unique and challenging work, please call 703-324-5435, TTY 703-449-1186 or e-mail nvltcop@fairfaxcounty.gov. Visit online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ombudsman for more information.

 


 

 

FAIRFAX COUNTY IS COMMITTED TO A POLICY OF NONDISCRIMINATION IN ALL COUNTY PROGRAMS, SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES AND WILL PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS UPON REQUEST. TO REQUEST SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS, CALL 703-324-3187 OR TTY-703-324-2935. PLEASE ALLOW FIVE WORKING DAYS IN ADVANCE OF EVENTS IN ORDER TO MAKE THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS

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