Village Volunteers host long-term care ombudsman | Lifestyle

SCVV Chair Ron Kerchner introduces Delaware Ombudsman Saundra Hale.

On Friday, June 10, members and volunteers of the South Coastal Village Volunteers (SCVV) attended a lecture by Saundra Hale, the Delaware Department of Health & Human Services’ long-term care ombudsman.

Hale presented information about Delaware’s services for the aging and adults with physical disabilities. The long-term care ombudsman advocates for residents who live in long-term care facilities and individuals who receive home based long-term care services. The program was arranged by SCVV Outreach / Volunteer Chairs Elizabeth Bolton and Lois Pastore.

Long-term care (LTC) ombudsman programs work to resolve problems related to the health, safety, welfare and rights of individuals who live in LTC facilities, such as nursing homes, board-and-care and assisted-living facilities, and other residential care communities. Ombudsman programs are designed to promote policies and consumer protections to improve long-term services and support at the facility, local, state and national levels.

Hale provided background information explaining the programs, started in 1972 as a demonstration program and today operating in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Each state has an Office of the State LTC Ombudsman, headed by an ombudsman who directs the statewide program and designates staff and thousands of volunteers as representatives to directly serve residents. They identify, investigate, and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents. They provide information to residents about LTSS and ensures that resident have regular and timely access to ombudsman services. They also analyze, comment on, and recommend changes in laws and regulations pertaining to the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents.

The event was one of a series of programs offered by South Coastal Village Volunteers for the education of its members and volunteers. SCVV, which serves the communities of Bethany Beach, Millville, Ocean View, South Bethany and some contiguous areas, is a branch of Village Volunteers of Lewes and has been operational since the start of 2021.

SCVV is designed to help older adults age in place and continue to live independently in the community by providing up to 25 hours of volunteer help monthly to members. Services such as transportation to medical and personal appointments and shopping; social and educational gatherings; help with pets, plants, and electronics; friendly check-in calls and visits and small household tasks requested by members are performed by volunteers who choose what they can do to help and when they can do it. The SCVV office, located at 32 West Avenue in the Ocean View community building, has recently expanded its hours and is open weekdays from 10 am to 2 pm

SCVV is looking for both volunteers and members. For further information on the organization, go to the website at, e-mail or call (302) 500-1281.

Additional information on the ombudsman program can be found by mailing Delaware Health & Social Services, Office of the Secretary, Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, Main Administration Building, 1901 North DuPont Highway, New Castle, DE 19720, or by calling 1-800 -223-9074.


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