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Volunteer: Become a Volunteer Ombudsman Representative

Tennessee Long-Term Care Ombudsman logo

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman program provides all Tennesseans residing in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and homes for the aged assistance with resolving complaints they may have with their care. The Ombudsman will advocate for the wishes of the resident and ensure that he or she is safe and receiving proper care.

Trained volunteer representatives of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program visit residents in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities and establish a regular presence in the facility. They provide information about resident rights, quality of care, and quality of life to residents and family members. Volunteers also observe conditions, advocate for residents, and handle simple complaints.

Volunteers are the eyes and ears of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and are rewarded by knowing that their presence can make a difference in the lives and care of long-term care residents.

How do I become a volunteer?

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman program has a volunteer application for nine regions of the state. To obtain an application to become a volunteer, please contact Lauren Meeker at lauren.owens@tn.gov.

We also recommend you review the Volunteer Ombudsman Representative (VOR) job description to learn more about what volunteer responsibilities include.  

Lastly, you will need to attend VOR training. Trainings are conducted on an as-needed basis and can occur relatively quickly after the application process.

Who can volunteer?

Our volunteers must be 18+ and cannot have worked for a Tennessee nursing home or assisted care living facility within the past year.

Who cannot volunteer?

We welcome volunteers from all backgrounds. However, you cannot volunteer where you have a loved one. Additionally, you cannot volunteer for this program if you have any financial interest in the facility in which you seek to volunteer or if you have been employed at a nursing home or assisted living facility in Tennessee within the past year.

Where can people volunteer?

Our volunteers may be placed in an assisted living facility or a nursing home. There are also some opportunities for clerical work in select districts.

Who do I contact for more information?

If you have questions about becoming a Volunteer Ombudsman Representative, contact Lauren Owens at lauren.owens@tn.gov or 615-837-5112.