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Become a Certified Volunteer Ombudsman

People who live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities may have little or no contact with the outside world. Many feel they lack control over their lives. A certified volunteer ombudsman who visits regularly can be the highlight of a resident's day and ensure residents get good care.

If you have a passion for helping others, a caring spirit, and a willingness to learn, we need you! Become an ombudsman and help improve the quality of life and care for residents in a facility near you. We provide training, tools, and ongoing support from your local ombudsman program.


  • What does a volunteer ombudsman do?

    Volunteers regularly visit residents at an assigned nursing home or assisted living facility. They listen to residents' concerns and, with resident consent, investigate, problem-solve, and help resolve concerns. Ombudsmen support residents’ rights, privacy, and confidentiality.

  • Who can volunteer?

    Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, have available transportation, and possess genuine care and concern for older adults. All volunteers must be able to pass a criminal history check and screening for conflicts of interest.

  • What experience do I need to become an ombudsman?

    No experience is required. Training, ongoing supervision, and support are provided by the local ombudsman program. The most important requirements are compassion, respect for older people, and common sense. A positive attitude, the ability to communicate effectively, and available time are also important.

  • Is training provided?

    Volunteers participate in a free, 36-hour certification training course. Training includes classroom, self-study, and in-facility training. Each volunteer serves a three-month internship. The managing local ombudsman recommends volunteers for certification, and the State Long-term Care Ombudsman makes the final decision.

    Ongoing education also is provided. Eighteen hours of continuing education is required annually (1.5 hours per month on average), and the local program provides opportunities for up to 24 hours each year. All of the training is at no cost to you, other than your time and energy.

  • What is the time commitment?

    After training, volunteer hours are flexible. Volunteer hours vary but on average, most volunteers work one or two hours per week.

  • What are the benefits of volunteering?

    Volunteer ombudsmen develop skills in:

    • Communication
    • Listening
    • Relationship building
    • Problem solving

I am interested. Now what?

To volunteer, please call us at 713-500-9931 or email us at [email protected].