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Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program seeks volunteers; Holds training sessions

September 20, 2004

BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Human Services' Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is seeking volunteers to visit residents in nursing homes and basic care, swing bed, and assisted living facilities in North Dakota.

Informational meetings and volunteer training opportunities will be held in Grand Forks on September 22 and Devils Lake on September 23. Similar sessions are scheduled in Fargo on September 28 and in Jamestown on September 29. Most sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and all will be held at regional human service centers, except for the Jamestown training. The Ombudsman training in Jamestown will be held at the James River Senior Center.

For information or to register for the training, call Bryan Fredrickson at 298-4413 in Fargo or 1-888-342-4900.

According to State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Helen Funk, the human services department is looking for people who like to contribute to their communities and who enjoy visiting with older adults and people with disabilities.

"Volunteers regularly visit residents in assigned facilities and provide an important service by acting as impartial fact-finders and mediators to resolve concerns," she said.

Participants will learn about the purpose of the program, the ombudsman's role as an advocate, the Long-Term Care Residents Bill of Rights, complaint handling skills, confidentiality standards, and more. Currently, about 70 volunteer community ombudsmen in North Dakota help protect the rights, dignity, and safety of residents in long-term care facilities.


Helen Funk, State Ombudsman, N.D. Department of Human Services, Aging Services Division, (701) 328-4617; Bryan Fredrickson, Regional Ombudsman, N.D. Department of Human Services, Aging Services Division, (701) 298-4413 or cell phone number (701) 793-1375; or Heather Steffl, Public Information Officer, N.D. Department of Human Services, (701) 328-4933


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