Having a friend drop by for the holidays is usually welcome, and that’s especially true for residents of assisted living and nursing homes.
The Durant branch of the Southern Oklahoma Development Association’s Area Agency on Aging is asking for Ombudsman volunteers to visit elderly residents. The branch covers Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Cole, Garvin, Johnson, Love, Marshall, Murray and Pontotoc counties.
“This time (of year) is when the elderly in nursing homes can start to feel lonely and more depressed,” Ombudsman supervisor Rebekah Williams said, “This way they can feel love and support from their community.”
In Ardmore, volunteers with the program visit the Veterans Center, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. While other volunteer programs are active, there are no Ombudsman volunteers in Carter County at the moment.
Volunteers will need to attend two days of training and be willing to dedicate two hours a week to volunteering.
“We can work with anyone who’s interested but can’t make the scheduled trainings,” Williams said. “We’ll find the time.”
R.K. Skidmore with The Suites at Elmbrook said volunteers can make a real difference during this time of year.
“Some don’t have family here, so when the volunteers come in it makes their day,” Skidmore said. “New residents really enjoy when the community visits and they get the chance to meet new people.”
Some of Elmbrook’s residents moved to Ardmore from other states, and haven’t had the chance to make friends in the community, but the holidays are a chance to change that.
“There’s the singing, the therapy dogs, and the different school groups that visit, so we have a lot of activity,” Skidmore said. “You really want to be able to share this joy with someone. Seeing new people come in lets them know they’re not forgotten.”
To find Ombudsman volunteer classes or for questions, contact the Durant office at (580)920-1388.