The numbers indicate that the biggest problem is reaching all the elderly residents that Sennett represents. New York State ranked second in the nation in number of certified volunteer ombudsman, but ranked 43rd in the number of paid long-term care ombudsman program staff per long term care beds.
With the temptation by state and federal lawmakers to scale back on funding for many programs, Sennett pointed out that volunteer hours associated with the program saved New York close to $6 million in 2010. However, Sennett is removed from the politics of the program.
“We certainly advocate for laws that benefit the seniors, but we don’t really get involved in all of that,” Sennett said.
To learn more about the Long-Term Ombudsman program, call 1-800-342-9871 or visit www.ltcombudsman.ny.gov.