Long Term Care Authority of Enid is offering a free two-day training and seeking volunteers to serve as ombudsmen in area long-term care facilities.

The free training will be offered at Long Term Care Authority of Enid, Area Agency on Aging, 202 W. Broadway, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 13-14.

David Huff, ombudsman supervisor with Long Term Care Authority of Enid, said ombudsman volunteers fill a crucial need for nursing home residents.

“Many, many residents of nursing homes receive no visitors at all," Huff said. "Loneliness is really one of the most common emotions that ombudsmen encounter as they visit and get to know residents of the home they visit.”

The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, part of the Aging Services Division of Oklahoma Department of Human Services, trains and supervises volunteer ombudsmen who visit the residents of a nursing home for two hours per week, helping with problems or concerns when possible, according to a press release. "The mere act of visiting is of great value to many residents."

“Though this is a volunteer endeavor, the ombudsman actually gets very valuable pay," Huff said. "The look on someone’s face when they tell you that your visit has made their day is priceless. Furthermore, we get to meet people who have had very interesting lives. Unfortunately, lots of people see the elderly and just pigeon-hole them as old, instead of as people who have great stories and, in many cases, great wisdom.”

Anyone interested in becoming an ombudsman volunteer, or desiring to learn more about nursing home life, laws and residents’ rights, is welcome to attend the training. Reservations are requested but not required by calling Huff at (580) 237-2236.

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