LSU AgCenter looking for volunteers to advocate for elderly, others in nursing homes

Johnny Morgan  |  7/19/2018 8:39:15 PM

(07/19/18) NEW ORLEANS — The LSU AgCenter is looking for volunteers in the New Orleans area to participate in the Louisiana Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, which advocates for the elderly and others living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

The Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs oversees the program and trains volunteers throughout the state. The AgCenter manages the program in Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines and St. Tammany parishes.

All states are required to have such an ombudsman program under amendments that Congress made to the Older Americans Act in 1978. The 1987 Omnibus Nursing Home Act increased the responsibilities and powers of ombudsmen.

Ombudsman is a Swedish term that means “citizen’s representative.”

Five certified ombudsmen currently work under the AgCenter’s direction. They work with more than 4,000 residents living in 40 nursing homes and assisted living facilities — at no cost to the residents or the facilities.

Those interested in becoming ombudsmen will be trained to listen to concerns of nursing home residents and their families and friends. They also will learn how to resolve problems with nursing home staff.

“Just a few hours of free training will bring you into a community of people who are positively impacting the lives of so many in need,” said Beverly Gianna, who is a participant in the program.

More information is available from Tanya Hayes at 504-909-0672 or Michael Mosley 504-736-6519.

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