As long term care becomes a more pressing issue across the country, it becomes even more important to raise awareness and encourage education about the subject.
Area volunteers help improve the level of awareness throughout the community and provide crucial information to those who can benefit. A recent speaker in Texas helped do just that.
Long Term Care Ombudsman
Long term care ombudsman are volunteers that go into nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long term care settings to speak with the residents and discuss any concerns or issues the resident has. These volunteers are vitally important, as they help these residents who would otherwise be voiceless voice their concerns to the public.
Ombudsman volunteers then meet with local councils and agencies to determine what can be do about the concerns that have been raised and do their best to accomplish that task. They provide a much needed service in the community where long term care residents are often disenfranchised because they are separated and sometimes isolated.
Tina Rider is the coordinator for the North Texas Long Term Care Ombudsman office, which operates within a 14 county area in North Central Texas. The office is part of the Area Agencies on Aging, which provide services like Meals on Wheels to local seniors.
Rider spoke about a variety of things during the luncheon, but an especially notable point was when she mentioned the North Central Texas Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC). The ADRC is an agency in Ellis County which helps people get connected to a variety of services like care coordination, caregiver support, legal assistance, and household help like meals and light housing keeping. This is a no-cost service provided to the community that can help many people who may otherwise be unaware of those services.
Rider also discussed nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and the differences between each, a topic that is often misunderstood. She also mentioned the importance of researching a long term care facility before deciding on one, something we adamantly stress, as it can make all the difference.
Long Term Care
Preparing for long term care can be overwhelming sometimes, but with resources like your local Ombudsman office, your local AAA, and other services, you can find the help you need to plan accordingly.