Become a Certified Long-Term Care Ombudsman
Ombudsman Services of San Mateo County, Inc schedules quarterly Volunteer Information Sessions. We would encourage you to attend one of these sessions which will give you more information about our volunteer program and how you can get involved and it will also give you a chance to ask any questions you may have.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact Twila Dependahl, Volunteer Coordinator by phone or email.
You need to have a passion for working with elders – not as projects, but as people deserving of respect and quality care. All else flows from that central point.
Most residents of nursing homes are responsible adults – our job is to treat them and their concerns accordingly. As tempting as it can be to go all White Knight and come charging in to save the day and slay the dragon, an important aspect of being an advocate is enabling folks to speak up for themselves (to the degree that they are able to do so). Additionally, care providers are rarely “the bad guys,” but are often unaware of issues, sometimes ill-trained, and occasionally unsuited for the work.
The task of an ombudsman is to mediate, negotiate, and make sure the situation is resolved so that the elder is safe and well cared-for. If you have these qualities, we’d love to talk to you. The program does have the following requirements before training can commence:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Must not have worked in a long-term care facility in the past 12 months
- Complete and submit an application packet
- Call and schedule an appointment for an interview
- Pass a criminal background check
Although we’re well aware that life can change suddenly and without warning, OSSMC asks that our volunteer field ombudsmen strive to commit for:
- at least 20 hours per month
- for 2 years
Many of our volunteers find the work so rewarding that they stay with the program longer than two years, and often volunteer in excess of 20 hours per month. We are grateful for all who have served and those who continue to assist us in providing safe, quality care for residents of nursing home in San Mateo county.
We offer a flexible 36 hour program which includes a combination of classroom instruction and online materials as well as field visits. After completing your initial training, you will receive the support and guidance of an experienced Regional Coordinator during an internship period. You will not be asked to go out on your own until you are confident and comfortable doing so.
Following successful completion of your internship, you will be certified by the State of California as a Long-Term Care Ombudsman. You’ll then be assigned to one or more nursing homes to visit, evaluate, and follow up on any complaints.
Technical and moral support is always available from your supervisor or another one of our staff members.
California Long-Term Ombudsmen are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education each year in order to retain their certification. OSSMC offers free classes each month to ensure that all ombudsmen have a number of opportunities to meet this requirement.
To learn more about how to become a Certified Long-term Care Ombudsman, contact us today.