Volunteer Program

Requirements for Volunteer Program

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

Volunteer Position Description

Hours: Minimum 16 hours per month, flexible schedule

Supervised by: Ombudsman Program Regional Manager, and to the Program Director as specific situations require

Location of volunteer position

In one of seven regional offices and in assigned long-term care facilities covered by that regional territory.

Purpose of position

A volunteer Ombudsman is a representative of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman who has an important role as an advocate serving frail and vulnerable residents in long-term care facilities. An Ombudsman works to improve the quality of care and quality of life for residents of skilled nursing, assisted living and board and care facilities (long-term care facilities).

Primary responsibilities

To confidentially investigate complaints made by or on behalf of long-term care facility residents. Effectively communicate resident’s concerns and utilize appropriate investigation and problem-solving methods. Conduct regular unannounced visits to assigned facilities, complete appropriate documentation, and report allegations of elder abuse and neglect to program supervisor. Function cooperatively and pleasantly under Ombudsman staff supervision. Comply with all federal, State and local program procedures and requirements. Optional volunteer responsibility is to witness Advance Health Care Directives (AHCD) for residents in nursing facilities as per Civil Code Section 2432(f).

Length and Time (hours & days) commitment expected

One year commitment is required; minimum 16 hours a month, attendance at monthly volunteer meetings, flexible facility visitation schedule created by the volunteer between the hours of 7:00 am and 10:00 pm, any day of the week.

Special Knowledge/skills/abilities required

Compassion for elderly and dependent adults; Good communication skills and problem solving skills; Demonstrate professional and objective conduct consistent with program expectations; Willingness to submit timely written documentation related to a complaint, and to cooperatively follow instructions given by Ombudsman staff; dependable; flexible; and diplomatic.

Training/orientation required:

36-hour mandatory classroom training, followed by a 10 hour fieldwork internship, and 12 hours of continuing education each year to obtain and maintain Ombudsman certification from the California Department of Aging.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Age minimum of 18 years
  • A high school education or equivalent
  • FBI and Department of Justice fingerprint and background clearance required.
  • If using automobile for this volunteer assignment a valid driver’s license and current motor vehicle insurance is required.
  • Potential and current Ombudsmen must have no perceived or actual conflicts of interest that would interfere with or threaten their ability to advocate on behalf of long-term care residents.
  • Full COVID vaccination required


The satisfaction of working with people in need and promoting change that helps a person live their remaining years with dignity and respect. The opportunity for personal growth and heightened self-esteem through reaching out and offering assistance to others.  Valuable knowledge will be gained regarding the rights of long-term care residents, the regulatory system, and the aging network and services available to assist residents and their families.

For More Information: Call 800-334-9473 to find the Ombudsman office in your community or visit our web site at Ombudsman2@wiseandhealthyaging.org

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