Letters to the Editor

Volunteer ombudsmen being thrown under the bus

I started my training to be an advocate for individuals in long term care facilities in October of last year. All my training was through the internet from the office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman’s office, which has been established within the Iowa Department on Aging.

Because of computer problems and so on, it took me until May of this year to be certified. At that time I was introduced to two different volunteers of who took me with them during their visits so that I would be familiar with the program This completed my training. At that time I was given the facilities in my area that did not have a volunteer Ombudsman. I have served the one of my choice since that time. It is the most rewarding volunteering I have ever done. I, like the other volunteers, are accepted by the residents and they feel comfortable with us, as we do with them.

All of us are extremely unhappy with the changes that the office in Des Moines is trying to make. We have been told that under a new management we may not be able to still serve the residents that we have been serving and have built trust with. In other words we do not like being “thrown under the bus.”

Bettie Helm

Cedar Rapids

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