Though I appreciate the concerns of Fred Dillon regarding our Fresno-Madera Ombudsman Program (letter June 9), I don’t believe he speaks for all of the volunteers and the extraordinary advocating they perform on behalf of 8,500 residents currently living in our 39 skilled and 180-plus residential care facilities for the elderly.
Currently the staff and volunteers put in over 10,000 hours of complaint investigations each year, with a 95 percent resolution rate.
The need is great. We encourage more people to help this most vulnerable population, who find themselves without the financial resources or the physical or mental stamina to demand – or even request – the most basic requirements of life.
Many long-term care residents do not have anyone who is willing, able or aware of how to advocate for their best quality of life. In the absence of support, this already vulnerable population becomes even more at-risk for abuse and neglect.
We also must not place all long-term care facilities into one negative category. If not for these communities, then where would these seniors be living? With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day, this fragile situation is growing exponentially. We must never give up advocating, for their struggle is real.
Michelle DiBuduo Mastro, Executive Director, Valley Caregiver Resource Center, Fresno