Eastern Washington’s critical need for long-term care volunteers

SPOKANE, Wash. — It can be a difficult decision to send your family member to a long-term care facility.

The big question is: How do you know if they are getting the quality of care that they need?

That’s why Washington state has the long-term care Ombudsman program. Ombuds are volunteers who protect and promote residents’ rights.

But, Snap’s Eastern Washington Ombudsman program only has 21 volunteers  and the region has around 400 facilities.

At one assisted living facility in Spokane, residents speak very highly of their Ombudsman.

But, due to the lack of Ombudsman volunteers, not every resident in Eastern Washington has easy access to this type of support.

There is a critical need for more volunteers in Spokane, Pend Oreille, Ferry, Stevens, and Whitman counties.

“We are desperate to get more people, so that we can serve the people that we’ve been assigned to,” says Regional Ombudsman Richard Danford.

At Maplewood Gardens, an assisted living facility in Spokane, an Ombudsman visits weekly.

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