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Your Health
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Volunteers Needed for County’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Service

Certified facilitators advocate for the rights of residents in long-term care facilities

The long-term care ombudsman service in Santa Barbara County, which serves residents of long-term care facilities, is seeking new volunteers to become certified ombudsman.

“This service seeks volunteers to serve as certified long-term care ombudsman throughout Santa Barbara County,” said Lee Diaz, president of the Board of Directors of the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens. “To become a certified long-term care ombudsman, a 40-hour training must be satisfactorily completed as well as an internship. Additionally, 12 hours of continued training is required annually.

“Ombudsman serve as advocates for the residents of long-term care facilities — skilled nursing facilities and residential care facilities for the elderly. An ombudsman will visit facilities regularly to discover and receive concerns from residents and resident families, will investigate and resolve complaints, witness advance health care directives and work will licensing and other community agencies responsible for long-term care facilities to resolve problems.”

The long-term care ombudsman service ensures that the rights of residents are enforced. Residents have the right to live in a safe and healthy environment. Resident rights regard fairness and dignity, respect, safety, freedom, self-determination, services and fees, money, privacy and medical care.

A training session for people interested in becoming a certified long-term care ombudsman is scheduled to begin in June. For more information about volunteering and learn about the upcoming training, contact the ombudsman office at 805.922.1236 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The local ombudsman service serves all residents throughout Santa Barbara County. If you have any concerns about a resident in a local facility, please contact the ombudsman office for assistance.

Sponsored by the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens, the long-term care ombudsman is funded by the Area Agency on Aging. For more information, contact program manager Linda Hardy or Executive Director Joyce Ellen Lippman.

— Joyce Ellen Lippman is executive director of the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens.

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