The Right Decision Isn't Always Easy
In July of 2017, the VOYCEconnect Coordinator received a call from a man, John, who has used our services before. John reported that in April of that year, our services helped him place his wife in a long-term care community. However, after a month or two of having his wife in the home, John couldn’t bear it anymore. The guilt was getting to him. Read John's story here.
Help for Mom
Hank called VOYCEconnect looking for any resources that might help his family. He needed help for his parents, who were both in really good health besides his mother’s traumatic brain injury. Seventeen years ago, Hank’s mom, Cynthia, was in a car accident that resulted in permanent brain damage. From that moment on, she was a different person. Read more to find out how VOYCEconnect was able to help Hank and his mom.
A College Student's Story
As the VOYCEconnect Coordinator, I often educate people and discuss how you need to be prepared. Even for seniors, being prepared is not easy to do. You never know what might come up or what care you might need. But in some situations, being prepared is not possible and you are thrown into a situation you never thought you would be in. Read more here.
Joan, a 69-year old female, called VOYCEconnect looking for help for her 38-year old adopted son, Steven. Joan was desperate for help for her son, who came into her family with severe frontal lobe brain damage from early childhood abuse from birth to age 4. Although Steven sometimes appears able to make decisions, at his best, he is not able to emotionally function past that of an 18-year old. Read how VOYCE helped.
Please Don't Kick My Brother Out of His Home
Late one Friday afternoon, our Program Director, Chien received a distressed call from a 50-year-old woman, Lynn asking for help. She was quite emotional when she explained to Chien she had just received a discharge letter which said her 54-year-old brother, Richard, who had schizophrenia was going to be discharged from the nursing home community he had been living in the last few years. Read more to find out how VOYCE was able to help Lynn and Richard.
We Thought Grandma Was Ok
Mary Lou is an 89-year-old widow living by herself in St. Louis for the last 20 years. Her only relative was a granddaughter who lived in Florida. Mary Lou had her granddaughter convinced she was okay, but Mary Lou wasn't ok. Read more to find out how VOYCE was able to help Mary Lou.
Anxious to Be Alone
Matt called VOYCEconnect because his mother, Rhonda, had checked herself into the psych unit of the hospital. Matt discovered Rhonda had checked herself in because she was feeling very anxious about living alone. What did VOYCEconnect do to help?
Help! I Only Have Two Days to Find A Place For My Father to Live
Elizabeth, a 25 year old woman, called VOYCEconnect as a last resort. You see, her 55 year old father had a stroke a few years ago and has been in and out of the hospital. In those years after the stroke, he had begun exhibiting violent behaviors. Those violent outbursts had forced her to realize her father had become a danger for her and her family. She made the very difficult decision to place him in a residential care community where she thought he would best be cared for. Now THAT community is not enough. Who could Elizabeth turn to for guidance?
Is That Legal?!
Cris received a letter informing her that her brother was being discharged from a long-term care community. Her gut told her their reasoning for the discharge couldn’t possibly be legal. But she didn’t know where to turn. Her head was spinning about how she was going to find a different community that could handle his mental health issues in such a short amount of time. Read her story here.
You're a Power of Attorney and Your Requests Are Being Ignored. What Do You Do?
Maureen, Power Of Attorney for her friend Anna, called me in despair. Anna resided in a long-term care community in the St. Louis area. She was currently on hospice, and according to Maureen, having pain medications withheld from her as well as forced involvement of activities in the community. Anna had mild dementia, but still understood what she did and did not want to do. Read More About How Amy Was Able to Help.
From Alone and Crying to Feeling Heard and Respected
On a cold, snowy January afternoon I stopped by a nursing community to speak with their social worker about a possible Ombudsman volunteer who might be starting within the next week. Unfortunately, the social worker had forgotten about our appointment and would meet with me in 45 minutes. Instead of just sitting and waiting I decided to walk around the community and see a few residents who might be in need a kind voice. Read More About How Brian Was Able to Help.
VOYCE Ombudsman Featured in 2015 Campaign Video for United Way Mark Twain Area
Spotlight on Gene Suddarth, Volunteer Ombudsman
Hear about the work of Volunteer Ombudsman Gene Suddarth at Luther Manor Retirement and Nursing Center in Hannibal, Missouri by viewing the above video.
Teresa's Ombudsman Story
I once met a woman when she was just moving into a long-term care residence that I visit. She had brought her own manual wheelchair because she had multiple sclerosis. As this debilitating disease gradually started to take its toll and her condition worsened, it became apparent that she needed an electric wheelchair to help her retain some mobility and navigate through the facility without assistance. Read About How Teresa's Actions Ensured Mobility.
Willie Mae's Ombudsman Story
Being There at the End
I often take my time visiting residents when I volunteer as an ombudsman. Even after a tiring 12-hour shift at work, I make sure that I am there to follow up on a resident and assure them that I will be their VOYCE. On one visit, I went directly to see a man who had expressed during a previous visit that he wanted to transition to hospice care. When I entered his room, I noticed his labored breathing. Read How Willie Mae Provided Comfort at the End.
Ombudsman Date to the Prom "More Than A Friendly Visitor"
Roger has been visiting and advocating for Estelle for about eight years. He was delighted and honored when Estelle asked him to the Senior Prom because she had no family who was able to attend.
Read about this Special Relationship between a resident and her ombudsman. Roger established a wonderful rapport, built trust and gained the confidence of one very special resident.
Roger and Estelle enjoyed an evening of dressing up in prom attire with flowers and fun and dancing. Roger even took his date for a "twirl" on the dance floor.
Anthony's Ombudsman Story
Mediating the Right to Choose
Because I am such a vital source of information on resident rights and procedures for individuals who are receiving long-term care and their families, I have learned time and again how much support I truly provide as an ombudsman volunteer.
With the skills to mediate between residents, family members and the staff of a long-term care community, I often help sort out individual issues. Read More.
Ed's Ombudsman Story
Advocating for 20 Years and Counting
VOYCE has a saying that "ombudsman volunteers are the heart of our organization" as they advocate for quality living across the continuum of long-term care.
They bring this mission to life, and Ed has been at the core of this for 20 years. He inspires many of his peer ombudsmen in the St. Louis area and exemplifies the message that senior care is essential and important. Read More.
June's Ombudsman Story
Solving Problems for Quality Living
My experience has given me many opportunities to help residents resolve problems that may seem small, but often have a large impact on the quality of their lives.
My training from VOYCE has been crucial to my effectiveness in finding solutions to these problems. Whenever I have made a real difference in the residents' lives, their appreciation is reward enough. Read More.
Gene's Ombudsman Story
Making Sure the Music Continues
As an ombudsman volunteer, I always have enjoyed working along side all residents who are living in a long-term care setting, but one resident always comes to mind.
The woman once mentioned how she loved music and owned a lot of tapes and records; however, not being able to play music in her room often made her a bit sad. As her ombudsman, I knew I could step in and help her with this issue. Read More.
A Resident's Story
Taking Your Point of View
I always had been a very active person all my life until a debilitating stroke left me with partial control of the left side of my body, making it impossible for me to live at home.
I consequently moved into a long-term care community, but I never gave up my dream to return to live in my native country. My ombudsman helped me through the process of receiving physical therapy so I could become independent again. Read More and Hear How Ombudsman Steve Schoenbeck Intervened to Help this Resident.
A Daughter's Story
Securing the Care Mom Deserves
For a while now, my mother had been living with multiple sclerosis (MS). When we decided to transfer her to a long-term care community that looks after many others with her same diagnosis, we had so many challenges.
Our ombudsman volunteer made a real difference in obtaining the care my mother needed. Knowing this provided comfort and confidence that my mother finally is receiving the care that she deserves. Read More.
A Son's Story
Navigating Family Dissension
After my mother died, my father remarried. They then had kids from their marriage, and I often felt like an outsider. With our parents growing old and no longer able to take care of themselves, we mutually decided to move them to a long-term care community. Family strife prevented me from visiting my father until an ombudsman volunteer stepped in. Read More and Hear from Ombudsman Ken Cluck.
A Mother-Daughter Story
Seven years ago, a mother faced an unusual dilemma. She was aging and unable to continue taking care of herself and her daughter, who lives with diabetes and schizophrenia. She agonized over what would happen to her daughter if she died. How could she be at peace without knowing her daughter was well taken care of? Read About Her Solution. Or Watch This Heart Warming Story.
To Find Help...
All you need to do is pick up the phone and call 314-918-8222 or 866-918-8222 for help.
Hear from our Ombudsman, Willie Mae Welch on "What Drives Her to Visit her Residents" and the "Best Thing About Being an Ombudsman" by viewing these two videos.
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