As a volunteer for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, you serve as a listening ear and voice for residents in long-term care settings such as nursing homes, adult family homes, and boarding homes. Ombudsmen educate residents, staff, families and the community about long-term care issues, resources, resident rights and quality of life in long-term care settings.
Certified LTC Ombudsmen serve residents by:
Providing them with information about their rights and available resources
Obtaining factual information about their complaints, investigating and resolving these complaints and providing them with protection of their rights
Assuring they receive fair treatment from service providers
Pierce County Long-Term Care Ombudsman 3602 Pacific Ave. Suite 200 Tacoma, WA 98418
Steps to Becoming a Certified Volunteer
1. Apply online or send in the online application, then complete an (in-person or virtual) interview. 2. Pass background check. 3. Complete federally mandated LTC Ombudsman coursework and receive certificate and badge. 4. Complete on-the-job shadowing. 5. Be assigned a facility and receive promotional and educational materials to help you succeed as an ombudsman within your assigned facility.
Working with staff and residents for quality care and quality of life for the residents
Pointing out successes as well as areas that need additional work and resources
Speak for those residents who are unable to speak for themselves
Advocate for resident choices
Negotiate solutions to problems
Speak for the residents’ choice
Work with facilities to develop policies and address areas of potential conflict
To become a certified volunteer, trainees must complete 31 hours of federally mandated course work, this can be broken down into weekly readings and discussions, training videos and peer mentoring. Training is summarized by on-the-job shadowing (either in person or virtual). Ombudsman who complete the coursework and show strong advocacy skills receive a Washington State Ombudsman badge, certificate of completed coursework and are assigned one or more facilities.
Examples of coursework include:
Communication with stakeholders
Role of Ombudsman
Program and peer support is available to help new volunteers navigate the world of resident rights and advocacy. The Ombudsman program holds bi-monthly volunteer meetings to help review cases and share updates in policies and procedures.
Make A Complaint
If you or someone you know resides in a licensed long-term care facility and have a complaint or need advocacy, please visit this webpage for more information.