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Training Available to Become a Volunteer Ombudsman to Advocate for Seniors

People Inc. is seeking volunteers with a passion for assisting seniors to support the New York State Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. Volunteers, called ombudsmen, play an important part by advocating and promoting the rights of residents who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. 

Ombudsmen bring compassion and problem-solving skills as they visit long-term care facilities to empower residents. Phone screenings are now available to review eligibility to join the program’s upcoming training sessions.

Ombudsmen volunteers explore, resolve and/or refer complaints. 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 retirees, ranging from those who have worked within education systems, administration to engineering fields. Hours are flexible with a minimum of two hours per week. 
Inspired by his father’s move into a skilled nursing facility, Joe Cal, a retiree and resident of Orchard Park, NY, has been an Ombudsman for the past eight and a half years. 
“We are not there to be adversaries, we are advocates, mediators and partners who appreciate the backgrounds and experiences of residents and want them to know that we have their backs,” said Cal. Another part of the volunteerism that Cal enjoys is the schedule and giving back. “For me, I consider it a regular job, but the good news is you can pick your own hours. As an ombudsman, I’m able to make an impact on seniors, especially for the residents who do not have family living in town; you are there to be an intermediary.” 
People Inc. provides comprehensive training and ongoing support for ombudsmen. The next training begins in mid-June with late afternoon/evening hours. Another training will be held in September. 

To learn more, call 716.817.9222.

People Inc. provides programs and services to more than 12,000 people with special needs, their families and seniors throughout Western New York and Rochester. Since 1970, People Inc. has assisted individuals to achieve greater degrees of independence and productivity. To learn more, visit Like us on Facebook at People Inc. and follow us on Twitter @PeopleIncNews.

Western New York 1219 North Forest Road | P.O. Box 9033 | Williamsville, New York 14231 | Phone: 716.817.7400 | Toll Free NY 1.888.7PEOPLE | Fax: 716.634.3889

Rochester 1860 Buffalo Road | Rochester, NY 14624 | Phone 585.441.9300 | Fax 585.441.9398

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