The facilities include nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and homes for the elderly.
“There are more than 160 long-term care facilities in our 13-county district, and we rely very heavily on volunteers,” said Cindy Rudolph, volunteer administrative assistant with the District 5 long-term care program in Wilson County. “We need volunteers in Wilson County.”
Rudolph said Wilson County currently has three volunteers, and that includes her. The program works in Wilson and 12 other counties in Middle Tennessee and is a partner agency with the United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland.
The ombudsman staff consists of two district ombudsmen and an ombudsman assistant, along with 35 trained volunteers.
Trained, certified ombudsman volunteers pay regular visits to the facilities where they spend time with residents, monitor conditions, investigate complaints, educate regarding abuse and neglect and protect residents’ rights. The program offers mediation, complaint resolution and public education for residents and their families.
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman program is actively recruiting for volunteers in the Wilson County area. Volunteer applicants must pass a background check and attend 16 hours of in-house training.
The next training session will be Feb. 7-8 in Nashville. Those interested in becoming a volunteer have until Jan. 15 to contact the program by sending an email to [email protected] or calling 615-850-3918.