Role of the Certified Volunteer Ombudsman

Ann Spencer-Cole
Ombudsman Coordinator

501-508-8858

  • Inform residents of their rights under federal/state laws and assist them in protecting their rights

  • Provide information about the Ombudsman Program to residents and families

  • Refer complaints and concerns to designated Regional Ombudsman

  • The Volunteer Ombudsman assists the Regional Ombudsman by visiting their assigned facilities weekly.

To become a Certified Volunteer Ombudsman, please fill out the application found here. You can email your completed application to the Ombudsman Coordinator at constle.spencer-cole@dhs.arkansas.gov.

Qualifications

  • At least 18 years old

  • Have reliable transportation

  • Experience in working with older people

  • Must not have immediate family presently employed by a LTC facility

Required training to obtain and maintain an active certification.

  • Must attend an 8-hour classroom training

  • Must complete a 12-hour nursing home practicum

  • Must attend quarterly in-service training classes

  • Encouraged to attend at least one state-sponsored quarterly training per year

Responsibilities

  • Visit residents in LTC facilities 2-4 hours weekly

  • Explain the purpose of the Ombudsman Program to residents and family

  • Complete all required paperwork accurately and on time

  • Observe and report to the Regional Ombudsman regarding care in assigned facility

  • Help residents and their families understand the facility policies

  • Attend resident and family council activities when requested

  • Refer complaints or problems received or observed to the Regional Ombudsman

  • Ask for technical assistance from Regional Ombudsman

  • Adhere to the confidentiality and code of ethics agreement at all times

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