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TEXARKANA, Texas — The Ark-Tex Area Agency on Aging, Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is seeking volunteers to advocate for residents living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

The area includes Bowie, Cass, Delta, Franklin, Hopkins, Morris, Titus, Red River and Lamar counties in Northeast Texas.

Volunteer ombudsmen visit residents, identify and investigate complaints, and educate residents, families and facility staff on protecting the health, safety, welfare and rights of individuals living in long-term care settings. Ombudsman services are free and

Ombudsman duties include:

Helping ensure that residents receive the care they want and are treated with the dignity they deserve.

Identifying and resolving concerns that affect residents.

Supporting and promoting the health and safety of residents.

Protecting Residents Rights.

Supporting resident-directed care.

Respecting resident choices and independence.

Providing information about Resident and Family Councils.

Advocating for resident-focused laws and regulations.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and complete a free, 36-hour training course that includes classroom, self-study and in-facility training. No prior experience is required. Hours are flexible and determined by each volunteer. Training starts soon. Registration is required.

Anyone with two hours per week to make a difference in someone's life can contact Kim Palmore at 903-255-3507 or [email protected] to register for the course.

The Ark-Tex Council of Governments is a voluntary association of local governments established under state law for the purpose of promoting intergovernmental cooperation and strengthening local units of government within Bowie, Cass, Delta, Franklin, Hopkins, Lamar, Morris, Red River and Titus counties in Northeast Texas and Miller County, Arkansas. The primary goal of ATCOG is to improve the quality of life for all citizens of the region on behalf of regional governmental organizations by providing a perspective on information and problem solving and by coordinating funding, resources, programs and services.

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