July Shared Plate Recipient – Alliance on Aging Ombudsman Program

Monterey County’s Alliance on Aging offers a range of senior services through the “Hub,” their offices in Salinas and Monterey. With funding through federal, state, county and foundation grants and generous private donors, the Alliance has become the virtual one stop center for senior services. They are the home base for the Ombudsman Program, whose state-certified staff and volunteers advocate for the residents in long-term care facilities. Volunteer and staff ombudsman assist residents with issues related to day-to-day care, health, safety, and personal preferences, and help prevent abuse and neglect.

We are especially sensitive to the needs of those whose family has scattered and friends passed on, the many who have no one left to advocate for them. Our regular visits provide the comfort of knowing that someone is there to help solve problems they can’t work out on their own. We answer complaints from the residents, caretakers, and family members, and can raise serious issues for state intervention. The Ombudsman program also investigates cases of suspected abuse or neglect in long term care facilities, and we have seen an increase of reported cases during the last two years.

The Ombudsman Program, as many other nonprofit services, was severely impacted by the pandemic lockdown. We set up creative ways to stay in touch with facility residents during lockdowns, initiating phone contacts, providing digital devices for virtual visits, and engaging volunteers in getting hundreds of greeting cards delivered to residents and caregivers. Your contributions will go towards helping ensure that long-term care residents of Monterey County will have the care that allows them to thrive.

The ombudsman delivered robotic pets to seniors at Del Monte Assisted Living in Pacific Grove. These pets are part of a state initiative to provide a form of companionship for seniors in long-term care. These pets purr, bark, wave their paws, and roll over. The recipients are delighted with their new companions.

Please donate generously to this worthy organization.