Okay, I'll admit it, I wasn't sure that I knew what an ombudsman was. I thought that it was an advocate of some sort and, as it turns out, I wasn't far off. But they are much more than that, an ombudsman, according to the dictionary, is someone who is appointed to investigate an individual's complaint against maladministration or violation of rights.

If you think about this with long-term care, these individuals assist those who live in nursing homes, assisted living, adult homes etc. Often times, these individuals may not have the strongest voices to address poor treatment or feel confident to ask for help when experiencing a problem in these type of environments, that's where the Hudson Valley Long Term Care Ombudsman Program can help.

They can help individuals and families deal with problems within these facilities as well as making sure that resident's rights are understood and assured.  The Hudson Valley Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is currently looking for volunteers to help residents in Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Sullivan, Greene, and Columbia Counties.

Free training will be offered in Kingston with a 5-day session March 14-16 and March 20-21 at the Ulster County Office of the Aging. Attendance at all five sessions is mandatory. For more information, call 845-229-4680. Imagine the peace of mind you could give families.