Read a heart-warming story of "Finding a New Home for Both Mother and Daughter"
A mother's struggle to find a safe place for herself and her daughter.
More than 28,000 individuals who live in more than 300 licensed long-term care settings in Greater St. Louis and northeast Missouri can turn to a VOYCE ombudsman. Loved ones who belong to today's explosively growing aging population can depend on an ombudsman to advocate on their behalf.
VOYCE trains its volunteer ombudsmen to identify issues, isolate particular causes of concern and skillfully resolve any challenges with compassion and respect. A VOYCE ombudsman seeks to diminish isolation and fear of retribution among residents, especially for those without any family. A VOYCE ombudsman can be there to listen, hold a hand and go the distance to meet the needs of aging individuals.
Giving the VOYCE of Advocacy
VOYCE began in the Greater St. Louis Area in 1979 soon after the passage of the Older Americans Act as the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. The long-term care industry had grown fast during the 1960s with little regulation. Everyone was hearing well-publicized reports of abuse, neglect and substandard conditions in nursing homes. Fortunately, Missouri responded by structuring its Long Term Care Ombudsman Program throughout the state with volunteers who could provide a direct community presence for helping residents maintain or improve their quality of life and ensure no violation of their rights.
Watch How an Ombudsman Can Make All the Difference
Ombudsman Support Their Residents
Volunteer ombudsmen receive 16-20 hours of training before VOYCE places them in a licensed long-term care residence in their community or neighborhood. Then, they must continue to earn eight hours of additional training each year. They learn about resident rights, abuse and neglect, staff sensitivity, difficult behaviors and mental health, effective communication and trends in long-term care.
Ombudsmen visit with the residents in their assigned long-term care community for a minimum of four hours each week. Residents often look forward to the day of the week that they know their VOYCE ombudsman will be there. They often develop deep friendships and relationships; however, it is important to realize that a VOYCE ombudsman is more than a friendly visitor. They are there because they choose to be. They have a heart and passion for advocating for aging individuals; they want to be a strong voice advocating for their dignity and respect. This is why volunteer ombudsmen are the heart of VOYCE.
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8050 Watson Road, Suite 155, St. Louis, MO 63119
Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 43-1480438