You can be the voice for, and a friend to a vulnerable community. You can be a watchdog, an advocate, and a mediator, if you become a volunteer through the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program administered by SNAP.
LTCO volunteers stand on guard for residents of assisted living centers, adult family homes and nursing homes in Spokane County and four other Eastern Washington counties. Often, the seniors they help have no family or friends. Volunteers alert the proper authorities to a variety of concerns such as inadequate care, abuse, insufficient nutrition and financial fraud as well as issues involving medications.
Referrals are made to local organizations like Residential Care Services or Adult Protective Services. LTCO also collaborates with Aging and Long Term Care of Eastern Washington
Last year, LTCO volunteers accounted for 2,759 visits to facilities in Spokane, Pend Oreille, Ferry, Stevens and Whitman counties. Volunteers generally donate four hours a week, visiting sites near their homes. SNAP covers gas costs with a stipend. A minimum commitment of one year is requested.