CLEARFIELD – Jim Alsop and Penny Libreatori, new volunteer ombudsmen with the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging Inc. (CCAAA), recently completed orientation and training with the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s State Long-Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman Office.
Volunteer ombudsmen promote the wellness and self-worth of residents in nursing and personal care homes, assisted living facilities, older adult living centers, domiciliary care homes and in the community. Ombudsmen address complaints and advocate for improvements in the long-term care system.
They provide information about how to choose a facility and how to get quality care. Ombudsmen also advocate for residents’ rights and changes to improve residents’ quality of life. They empower residents with information and education to resolve issues before they become problems.
Ombudsmen encourage self-advocacy first and are resident-directed. All matters referred to an ombudsman are kept confidential.
Modules covered during the Tier I Training include orientation review, communication skills, confidentiality issues, observation skills, how to make facility visits, giving a voice to quality of life, when questions and concerns arise and documentation needs.
Alsop previously worked for the CCAAA from November of 2007 until his retirement in 2012. He was a part-time substitute for center managers at CCAAA’s Centers for Active Living before becoming a full-time care manager within the agency’s long-term care unit.
Alsop is presently a member of the CCAAA’s Advisory Council. He resides in Clearfield with his wife, Sandy and enjoys gardening and visiting his children and grandchildren.
Libreatori spent many years prior to her retirement in the retail field as the long-time manager of Fashion Bug and Fashion Bug Plus of Clearfield and knows intrinsically that “the customer is always right.” Active in the community, she was a member of CCAAA’s Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) advisory board and served as a celebrity waiter for the Anne S. Tkacik Charity Auction.
She is the wife of Vincent Libreatori Sr. and enjoys hanging out with her granddaughter.
Libreatori has been assigned to Knickerbocker Villa of Clearfield. Alsop has been assigned to Christ the King Manor Personal Care Home and to Nelson’s Golden Years in DuBois. They will interact with residents of those facilities as friendly visitors and provide education and information on the Ombudsman Program and other resident concerns.
If residents are interested in meeting the new ombudsmen, they may call 814-765-2696 or toll-free 800-225-8571 to arrange a visit.
For more information on how to become an ombudsman, please contact Jeanne Urban at either of the above numbers. Volunteers of all skill levels are welcome.
Programs and services of the agency are funded in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging Inc., Mature Resources Foundation and local and consumer contributions.