Ombudsman Program Celebrates 30 Years of Serving the Elderly

For more than 25 years, Madge Lynn has visited residents of her local nursing homes and shared in their joy and in their sorrow. Ms. Lynn is an ombudsman with the non-profit Nursing Home Ombudsmen Agency of the Bluegrass, Inc., and, when asked why she says she believes that the ombudsman program empowers residents to resolve their own concerns.

Lynn, 74, serves as an ombudsman for about 50 residents of one specific nursing home. She has worked in many other long-term-care facilities as well. Sherry Culp, executive director of the agency, said the program has 33 ombudsmen, and most are women who have retired and are looking to serve. The number of hours they work depends on the size of the facility they serve and the number of residents. The ombudsman embrace an unpredictable schedule as they often have to meet with family in the evening hours.

Ombudsmen's responsibilities range from visiting to advocating for residents a facility is trying to evict. Because of people like Lynn, the agency is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.  Information will be available for anyone wanting to volunteer to visit nursing home residents through the Friendly Volunteer Visitor program. For more, read the story.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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