Ombudsman Training offered in Dodge City in June

Jun 01, 2015

The decision to move into an assisted living facility or nursing home is huge to say the least. Whether it is for you or a loved one, the trials and tribulations of making that life altering decision comes with stress and anxiety for everyone involved.

That is where the Kansas Long-term Care Ombudsman comes in to help.

Ombudsmen help to ensure that residents receive the care they want while being treated with the dignity they deserve. Their mission is to advocate for the well-being, safety, and rights of long-term care residents by assisting them in attaining the highest possible quality of life.

The Ombudsman Program is a volunteer-based program whose certified volunteers visits assigned long-term care facilities and help residents obtain the highest quality of life along with help long-term care staff meet the needs of those who use their facilities.

On June 9, an information session and initial training will be held at the Learning Center, 308 W. Frontview St., in Dodge City starting at 10 a.m.

Currently there are only 10 active Certified Volunteer Ombudsman covering southwest Kansas. Those 10 volunteers visit more than 50 long-term care facilities in 24 counties across the region.

Providing the training session is Regional Ombudsman, Jan Scoggins, who oversees the program along with training and oversight for all the long-term care facilities in Southwest Kansas. 

"The informative portion of the training will get people familiar with what we do," Scoggins said. "After that first hour, people will know if they want to proceed further with the training."

The information session will last approximately one hour, including plenty of time for questions.

If those attending want to continue with the training potion, they can remain or schedule a time that best fits their schedule.

"It is important to work with the schedule of the potential volunteers to get them comfortable with the work," Scoggins said. "The requirements for being certified are a completion of 30 training hours which we can schedule throughout the weeks ahead. We can have the training be 2-days a week for 4-6 hours a day or 3-days a week. It will all be within their schedule."

The importance of the training program being in Dodge City is due to there being no volunteer in the Dodge City area to visit the care facilities.

"I have volunteers in Garden City, Ulysses, Syracuse and Protection among other places but I do not have a person here in town other than myself," said Scoggins. "They all have years and years of experience being an Ombudsman and they each have told me that when they visit a facility once-a-week it is the highlight of their week.

"So with this training and information session coming up, I hope to get some local people interested and bring them onto our team."