I admit it…I have been, sort of, off the grid for a few months. Philanthropy is a passion of mine and I found a niche that has changed my life. I have been getting certified to be an Ombudsman for Long-Term Care in Tarrant County.
Federal law requires that each state have an ombudsman program to advocate for the residents of long-term care facilities. These include licensed nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and assisted living communities. This program is designed to ensure that the residents rights are honored and they are treated with dignity and respect.
I had this image of what nursing homes were and what it would be like to serve the residents. Anyone who has someone they love living in a nursing home due to some medical condition knows that this is something people in general don’t consider until they have no other option.
These communities have people of all ages. An accident can happen to anyone at anytime. Lives are changed in a second. When it does happen it is very difficult to manage your feelings, that of the injured and the family, and sort through everything that is suddenly now on your plate. Insurance, finances, doctors, time….the list goes on and on. As the resident or patient, you can feel like you have lost all control and all your rights as a person. Overwhelmed is the only word I can come up with when I imagine how it would feel to be in their shoes.
During the process of training, and shadowing my supervising ombudsman there has been a shift in my mindset…my soul. I have to stay objective, which is very hard since I am a nurturing person. I have come to understand the importance of objectivity, while caring for each of these people. It is a fine line I must walk, but it is so worth it.
When I am there and talking to these people, helping them or just chatting, they know that their lives matter. Someone is watching and they are important.
All the day-to-day BS that was irritating me even a couple of weeks ago, now doesn’t phase me. In the scheme of things it really is unimportant. I was not excepting this kind of shift to happen. There is a calmness that has taken over that allows me the objectivity to not only help others, but help myself.
It is a divine gift I have been given.