North Shore Elder Services’ Ombudsman Program Designation

North Shore Elder Services’ Ombudsman program has again met the Designation requirements by the Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman. NSES is designated to serve as the local Ombudsman Program for the North Shore, Mystic Valley, and Chelsea/Revere/Winthrop areas.

The Ombudsman provides a means for persons in long term care facilities to voice their problems and concerns and have their complaints addressed. The program is mandated by state and federal law and funded by the Older Americans Act through the Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

The program advocates for residents in fourteen cities and towns spanning Essex, Middlesex, and Suffolk counties. During this past fiscal year, two program staff and twenty-three Ombudsman Volunteers made 1,875 visits to forty-two long term care facilities, accounting for 90,965 resident contacts.  Ombudsmen counseled residents, empowering them and at the same time informing them they would intervene on their behalf if requested.  They worked on 348 individual cases involving 525 complaint codes.  Ombudsmen further reinforced residents’ rights with presentations at resident council meetings and in-service trainings for facility staff about abuse, mistreatment, neglect and misappropriation.  Through its ongoing presence, the Ombudsman Program provides elders with a valuable resource in long term care facilities.

Congratulations to Mee Lee Chin, LTC Ombudsman Program Manager, and Ed Arnold, Assistant Program Manager, and the 23 Ombudsman Volunteers for this accomplishment. If you would like to learn more about the program, call NSES at 978-750-4540.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for the program, check our website at https://nselder.org/about-our-volunteers-2/ where you will find the application process to follow.  North Shore Elder Services is looking for volunteers who are able to commit two to three hours per week at their assigned home.  There is a mandatory three day training class to become a certified representative of the Mass State Long Term Care Ombudsman.  It is a great opportunity to serve as an advocate to our elders living in long term care homes.  An Ombudsman Volunteer should enjoy working with the older population and be sensitive to the needs of residents in long term care homes.  Being a good listener is important along with being able to resolve issues in an impartial and calm manner.

Author Info

Jayne Girodat

Jayne Girodat is the Communications Specialist at North Shore Elder Services. Along with ten years in the position of Caregiver Support Specialist at another ASAP, Jayne was a long-distance caregiver to parents for the same amount of time. That experience serves as motivation to better understand the issues of aging and to engage people in conversations about those issues. Jayne's background in teaching contributes to her appreciation of social media as a tool to educate readers on aging concerns. "I love asking people questions. Everyone likes to be heard. When you ask and then listen, you'll find everyone has a story and some of those stories are gems. I think it is particularly important to hear the voices of our older adults. Those are the stories I really connect to and hope to bring to North Shore Elder Services' audience."

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