LONG-TERM CARE – Find out what it’s like and do some good.Posted: March 13, 2014
Most old people don’t have a clue about long-term care facilities. They don’t have any idea what they want or where they want to be. They don’t want to think about it. As a result, their children or spouse has to made an ignorant last-minute decision. And, you are the one, who at an old age, with physical and/or mental problems, find yourself stuck in a new and scary environment.
Just because you are old doesn’t mean that you can’t find out what long-term care facilities are like.
No one wants to look for an assisted living facility or nursing home if they don’t have to.
What you should do now is volunteer as an Ombudsman. Every state is required by law to have an Ombudsman program. Basically you as a volunteer are trained and then assigned to one or more facilities which you visit on a regular basis. You talk to the owners, caregivers, family and residents.
You provide an official presence, which helps to keep the facilities on their toes. You report any complaints, abuses or problems that the residents have. You may be the only person who visits them.
The benefit to you, besides doing something good and worthwhile, is that you get a first-hand look at a variety of places. You learn the level of care; you see the problems; and, you can compare large and small facilities. You are prepared to make a decision.
Interested? Check the Ombudsman website for a list of ombudsmen by state and a description of what an ombudsman does. Call them and tell them you want to volunteer. You can be any age, even though most of them seem to be about my age, or older. You can set your own schedule.
You are old, not stupid. Take charge of your life.
You need to know; and, you need to help.
When you end up in the “home,” you want to make friends with your Ombudsman.