Apply to become a Volunteer Ombudsman
Call the toll free number 1-800-815-0015 or complete the online applic​ation.​



Volunteer Ombudsmen make unannounced visits to designated nursing homes on a weekly basis. Volunteers observe, listen to, and interact with the residents. They observe general conditions of the facility and keep a log of this data. Volunteers talk with the residents and families guiding them in the right direction to resolve issues. Volunteers listen to and assist the resident with issues that may include, but are not limited to personal hygiene, daily cares, diet/meal issues, comfort, activities, staff relationships, personal empowerment, and facility conditions.

Volunteer Ombudsmen work with residents and their family members to communicate concerns and complaints by providing support and empowerment. Volunteer Ombudsmen can assist residents by being their voice and with their permission report concerns and requests to the nursing home staff for resolution. Volunteers will meet with a designated contact at the nursing home before leaving the facility after each visit to share resident comments and observations made. This discussion is included in the volunteer's written monthly report as well.

The Volunteer Services Supervisor oversees the entire Volunteer Ombudsman Program and directly supervises the Volunteer Coordinators around the state. The Volunteer Coordinators are located in the regions of Green Bay, Richland Center, Madison, Milwaukee, and Stevens Point.​

The Volunteer Ombudsman Program currently operates in 32 counties. Since 1994, the program has expanded from the original 4 counties of Dane, Milwaukee, Monroe, and Rock to include Adams, Brown, Calumet, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Door, Grant, Jackson, Juneau, Kenosha, Kewaunee, La Crosse, Lincoln, Manitowoc, Marathon, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Portage, Racine, Richland, Kenosha, Sauk, Taylor, Vernon, Waupaca, Winnebago, and Wood. We want to continue expanding until the Volunteer Ombudsman Program is available in every county in the state.​

The Volunteer Coordinators maintain contact with each volunteer through monthly reports, continuous regular training sessions, phone calls, e-mails and on site visitations. Potential Volunteer Ombudsmen are thoroughly screened. Potential Volunteers will pass a criminal background check, complete the formal application and be free from Conflict of Interest prior to attending the mandatory initial training.  Volunteer Ombudsmen are also required to attend periodic in-services on topics of interest that will enhance skills necessary for the volunteer position.  Volunteers will need to provide their own transportation for visiting nursing homes and to attend trainings.  Volunteers will adhere to the Board's policies and procedures for all aspects of the program including confidentiality, resident's rights, and the code of ethics of conduct while representing the agency as a Volunteer Ombudsman.  Being a Volunteer Ombudsman in this program is a privilege and really does make a difference in the lives of the residents served, as well as, in the lives of the Volunteer Ombudsmen.​

Click to watch an informational video: ​

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Advocates are wanted and needed in nursing homes! ​
You can make a difference in the lives of people living in area long term care settings one visit at a time.

In order to become a volunteer, you should:
  • ​Enjoy spending time with residents in nursing homes and assisted living communities.
  • Make unannounced, weekly visits to an assigned long term care setting during designated time frames.
  • Provide your own transportation.
  • Attend mandatory training.
  • Complete and submit monthly reports.
  • Complete the application process, including a background check and conflict of interest disclosure form.  ​​​​​

The Volunteer Services Supervisor and the Volunteer Coordinators will ensure proper training, guidance, and support throughout the entire volunteer experience.


Apply to become a Volunteer Ombudsman
Call the toll free number 1-800-815-0015 or complete the online appli​cation.​