SNAP needs volunteers to protect and assist people in long-term care | Community Spirit
You can be the voice for, and a friend to a vulnerable community. You can be a watchdog, an advocate, and a mediator, if you become a volunteer through the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program administered by SNAP.
LTCO volunteers stand on guard for residents of assisted living centers, adult family homes and nursing homes in Spokane County and four other Eastern Washington counties. Often, the seniors they help have no family or friends. Volunteers alert the proper authorities to a variety of concerns such as inadequate care, abuse, insufficient nutrition and financial fraud as well as issues involving medications.
Referrals are made to local organizations like Residential Care Services or Adult Protective Services. LTCO also collaborates with Aging and Long Term Care of Eastern Washington
Last year, LTCO volunteers accounted for 2,759 visits to facilities in Spokane, Pend Oreille, Ferry, Stevens and Whitman counties. Volunteers generally donate four hours a week, visiting sites near their homes. SNAP covers gas costs with a stipend. A minimum commitment of one year is requested.
The Older Americans Act of 1978 mandated that each state have a long-term care ombudsman program. There are 13 LCTO regions across Washington, including three east of the Cascades.
There is an urgent need for volunteers. Those who sign up go through a four-day training session and receive technical assistance as well as ongoing education at monthly meetings. There is also a support group for volunteers.
Screening for the next group of LTCO volunteers is currently underway. Training is scheduled for Sept. 10, 11 and 19, 20 at the SNAP Fort Wright building (3102 W. Fort George Wright Drive near Spokane Falls Community College). The classes will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day.
To find out more, call Linda Petrie at 456-7133 or 1-800-660-7133 or visit www.snapwa.org.