WHY I VOLUNTEERED!
Nursing homes and other long term care facilities often get a bad name. So why would a person volunteer to visit nursing homes unless they had a relative there?
In a recent training for the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, volunteers were asked "Why did you volunteer?" Here are some of their answers....
- There are a lot of residents in nursing homes that do not have family members or friends that visit or check in on them. I started out as a volunteer, helping with bingo and one on one visits with lonely residents. I saw the need for them to have someone as an advocate for them. It's nice to know you have helped someone who otherwise would not receive any help in certain situations.
- We moved from Florida and were involved with many volunteer organizations. My wife's Mother was in a nursing home for 10 years. This is our chance to give back to others for the wonderful care she got.
- I had worked at a nursing home in St. Louis and knew how appreciative the residents are to have someone who cares how their lives are going. There are tender moments like an Alzheimer's patient who had held my hand and walked with me and eventually began to talk to me (which was a rare occasions for her). It is a very rewarding endeavor.
- After a career in health care, my volunteer interests were people oriented. Ombudsman opportunities seemed a good "fit." I like advocating for vulnerable individuals and their families, particularly those in the health care situations.
- I volunteer because I observed things happening to residents in a nursing home where my mother was living. I thank God I soon realized I could make a difference! From that experience 13 years ago, I've continued to learn, grow and enjoy the smiles my work blesses me with and I thank God!
- As a retired RN, I had a great desire to help someone and the Ombudsman program filled this need.
- I am so glad to let residents know we as the Ombudsman representatives are here and speak for them on any problem they might have.
- There was a new facility in our neighborhood. I watched as many of my parents friends were aging and then my parent became a resident. I lived just a three minute walk away and was attentive to my parent daily, spending many hours there. Fourteen years later I continue to be committed and have recommended two other volunteers who have become certified.
- I started volunteering after AARP contacted me with a list of needs in my community. Ombudsman was on the list.
- I volunteered to satisfy my desire to helping aging people both socially and health-wise. I am making up for my continued capability while others my age have become unable to help themselves.
Cindy Troyer, ETHRA's Ombudsman, is available to provide information on how you can help. Contact her at 865-691-2551 ext. 4223 or through email at email@example.com.