You may have heard of advocates for children, but there are also advocates for the elderly. There’s a big need for them in Northeast Texas.
They’re called ombudsmen. In the nine county region serving Northeast Texas, there are only a couple of volunteers. The citizen volunteers are advocates for residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Many have little to no contact with the outside world Managing Local Ombudsman, Robert Morris, said “Volunteers are only required to go maybe one or two hours per month. It doesn’t usually interfere with your employment. You don’t have to be unemployed, or retired, that usually helps, but you don’t have to be.”
Ombudsmen were established by the Older Americans Act. Morris said volunteers should have a passion for senior citizens and know how to listen, which is a reward in itself. Morris said, “They share so much wisdom, that it helps you as you move through your life. It helps you overcome obstacles.”
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer ombudsman, you can call 1-800-372-4464 or 1-800-252-2412. You can also visit: https://www.dads.state.tx.us/contact/mlo.cfm