WHY I VOLUNTEERED!
Nursing homes and other long term care facilities often get a bad name. So why would a person volunteer to visit nursing homes unless they had a relative there?
In a recent training for the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, volunteers were asked "Why did you volunteer?" Here are some of their answers....
- There are a lot of residents in nursing homes that do not have family members or friends that visit or check in on them. I started out as a volunteer, helping with bingo and one on one visits with lonely residents. I saw the need for them to have someone as an advocate for them. It's nice to know you have helped someone who otherwise would not receive any help in certain situations.
- We moved from Florida and were involved with many volunteer organizations. My wife's Mother was in a nursing home for 10 years. This is our chance to give back to others for the wonderful care she got.
- I had worked at a nursing home in St. Louis and knew how appreciative the residents are to have someone who cares how their lives are going. There are tender moments like an Alzheimer's patient who had held my hand and walked with me and eventually began to talk to me (which was a rare occasions for her). It is a very rewarding endeavor.
- After a career in health care, my volunteer interests were people oriented. Ombudsman opportunities seemed a good "fit." I like advocating for vulnerable individuals and their families, particularly those in the health care situations.
- I volunteer because I observed things happening to residents in a nursing home where my mother was living. I thank God I soon realized I could make a difference! From that experience 13 years ago, I've continued to learn, grow and enjoy the smiles my work blesses me with and I thank God!
- As a retired RN, I had a great desire to help someone and the Ombudsman program filled this need.
- I am so glad to let residents know we as the Ombudsman representatives are here and speak for them on any problem they might have.
- There was a new facility in our neighborhood. I watched as many of my parents friends were aging and then my parent became a resident. I lived just a three minute walk away and was attentive to my parent daily, spending many hours there. Fourteen years later I continue to be committed and have recommended two other volunteers who have become certified.
- I started volunteering after AARP contacted me with a list of needs in my community. Ombudsman was on the list.
- I volunteered to satisfy my desire to helping aging people both socially and health-wise. I am making up for my continued capability while others my age have become unable to help themselves.
Volunteers in East Tennessee Human Resource Agency's Ombudsman Program complete a certification that provides the structure and background so they can skillfully help residents and facilities.
If you are looking for an ongoing volunteer experience that will keep you active with people and involved in problem solving, the Ombudsman assignment could be right for you.
Cindy Troyer, ETHRA's Ombudsman, is available to provide information on how you can help. Contact her at 865-691-2551 ext. 4223 or through email at email@example.com.
Hard work and a good attitude are proven tools in accomplishing your goals. SCHRA first came in contact with Wade Clark through the Community Corrections Program where he was assigned 100 hours of community service. He was assigned to the agency and his first assignment was to assist in setting up tables for the annual SCHRA Employee Day celebration. He loaded and unloaded tables, chairs and equipment with a smile on his face and was pleasant to everyone he encountered. He continued to complete his assigned hours with the commodity distribution program by bagging for each county’s distribution day. His hard work and good attitude was noticed by everyone he came in contact with. His diligence to each task proved beneficial when a position at the agency became available. Agency staff approached him and asked if he would be interested in working for SCHRA as a paid employee. Wade was surprised at this offer because he was on the Community Corrections Program and had been in trouble “here and there”. The mission statement of SCHRA is “to assist eligible people of all ages obtain a variety of services and resources”. A job was available, Wade made a great impression on everyone he met and what better way to support our motto of “Helping people help themselves” than to afford someone an opportunity to work. Wade is now an employee SCHRA, filling the position of utility worker for the EFAP/Commodity Program. According to Dee Dee Sneed, EFAP Coordinator, “Wade is doing really great”. The executive director provided Wade with t-shirts sporting the agency logo and he wears them with pride. He is excited to come to work every day and works with a smile that lights up his face.
Wade spends most of his day with Mr. Bobby Whited, the Commodity Distribution Supervisor, and they have developed a strong friendship. Through Mr. Bobby’s quiet encouragement, Wade has joined a church and become actively involved with church projects. Wade lives with his mother and grandmother, helping them as needed, cleaning out fence rows and mowing lawns. He hopes to continue working so he can earn enough money to buy a vehicle, preferably a Chevy truck. His goal is to obtain a job that offers insurance and benefits.
Wade Clark came into the offices of SCHRA as a client and through his hard work, good attitude and helpful manner has now become part of the SCHRA family.
The Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency to hold March for Meals Campaign
Support will help to continue feeding homebound seniors in our community
The Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency’s Nutrition Program announced today that it will be participating in the national 2014 March for Meals campaign. UCHRA’s Nutrition Program Community Champions week is March 17 – 21, 2014.
“In this tough economy, the food and human contact we provide to seniors in this community is needed more than ever,” said Kelly Dishman, Nutrition Director of the Upper Cumberland Nutrition Program “We need the community to come out and support our March for Meals events. Our clients are counting on us. We can’t let them down.”
March for Meals is a national campaign held during the month of March, initiated and sponsored by the Meals On Wheels Association of America to raise awareness of senior hunger and to encourage action on the part of local communities. Hundreds of Senior Nutrition Programs across the United States, like UCHRA’s Nutrition Program, promote March for Meals through public events, partnerships with local businesses, volunteer recruitment and fundraising initiatives.
“Our Meals On Wheels programs are on the front lines every day in the battle against senior hunger,” said Meals On Wheels Association of American President and CEO Ellie Hollander. “March for Meals is a time when communities can come together to stand with their local Meals On Wheels program and support our mission to end senior hunger in America.”
The Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency’s Nutrition Program served 93,630 Congregate Meals in FY ’13 and 191,349 Home-Delivered Meals. If you are interested in participating in the March for Meal's campaign by helping to prepare and/or deliver meals to our homebound senior clients during our Community Champions Week March 17 – 21, 2014, please contact your local UCHRA office for more details or check out the website at www.uchra.com.
Lincoln county was hit hard by devastating tornadoes on April 28, 2014. Fifty-nine homes were totally destroyed while another 49 received major damages and 133 received minor damage. An elementary school received major damage and all that is left of a little church is the concrete slab. The were over a hundred power poles downed and hundreds of trees. Unfortunately, two lost their lives. One being a transportation van driver for the local senior citizen center.
SCHRA partnered with TEMA and provided shovels, rakes, saws, gloves, garbage bags, nails, wood and all kinds of cleaning supplies. Funding for this was provided through the Community Services Block Grant.
The community was blessed by the outpouring of volunteers that came from all over the state to help. To show the agency's appreciation, the agency's nutrition/catering service prepared a delicious meal for these volunteers.
TAHRA would like to give special thanks all the sponsors of our 2016 Annual Training Conference held in Gatlinburg at the Park Vista Hotel. With their support, our staff and guests had an eventful week with excellent speakers and training opportunities. We wish to thank you for all that you do for our staff and for the Tennesseans that we serve.
Kit Dockery, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
1 Cameron Hill Circle, Bldg. 1.5
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Cliff Walker, Mid-South Bus Center
3512 Bill Smith Dr.
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
Dave Brown, Mobility Transportation Services
42000 Koppernick, Suite A3
Canton, MI 48187
Deborah Stewart, United Healthcare Director Network Programs
8 Cadillac Dr., Suite 100
Brentwood, TN 37027
Tina Brill, AmeriGroup Community Care Regional Vice President
22 Century Boulevard, Suite 310
Nashville, TN 37214
Larry Sprouse, Sprouse Insurance Group
P.O Box 1977
Dunlap, TN 37327
Gordon Wynn, TNCarriers
3180 Millington Road
Memphis, TN 38127
Randy Maiuri, Southeastrans
5751 Uptain Road, Suite 300
Chattanooga, TN 37411
Chris Campbell, RouteMatch
1201 West Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
Southwest Human Resource Agency turns 30
The Chickasaw Area Development Commission was formed on January 1, 1972. It arose from a merger of the Shiloh Area Development Corporation with the office in Savannah, Tennessee; West State Economic Opportunity Offices located in Lexington, TN, and Big Hatchie Development Corporation whose office was in Brownsville, TN. The merger took place as an executive order of the Governor of Tennessee with the intent to bring all counties within the Southwest Development District boarder lines together.
As a result of the merger, the Chickasaw Area Development Commission was strengthened by making three smaller and lower funded agencies together in one. The Chickasaw Area Development Commission was made up of Chester, Decatur, Henderson, Haywood, Hardeman, Hardin, and McNairy Counties.
The Agency existed as a Community Action Agency from 1972-1983. The Agency re-organized under TCA 13-26-101 and was chartered pursuant to an act adopted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee as Chapter 289, Public Acts of 1973, and as the Human Resource Act of 1973, hence establishing Southwest Human Resource Agency.
The purpose of the Agency is to promote the development of human resources in the Southwest Tennessee region through the effective and efficient delivery of human services. It was recognized that a special need existed to obtain strong local involvement in the decisions of Federal, State and other agencies which affected the welfare and well-being of the region’s citizens.
This year marks the 30 year anniversary of service to people all over the eight county areas. Those that have come before us have laid the foundation for the successes we share today. Service to others best describes the work of Southwest Human Resource Agency.
Meals on Wheels Partners with St. John's Community Service
The Northwest TN Human Resource Agency Nutrition Program has partnered with St. John's Community Service in Henry, Carroll, Weakley and Obion Counties to deliver homebound meals.
St. John's Community Service is a day and residential service program that provides community service in Tennessee. Presently they are serving Henry, Carroll, Weakley and Obion Counties. This is a program for people with disabilities to become involved in their communities by developing relationships, skills, abilities and an improved sense of personal value. A key component of community participation is the opportunity for participants to volunteer in the community.
St. John's Community Service has established a network of nonprofit volunteer sites in Henry, Carroll, Weakley and Obion Counties with the "Meals on Wheels" for individuals to donate their time delivering meals to the homebound clients. SJCS individuals come to the Meals on Wheels site along with their supervisor about 9:00 a. m, pick up the meals and deliver the meal to each nutrition client. The client enjoys the St. John's volunteer because they are always friendly and offer their undivided attention to the elderly person receiving the meal. Some days this is the only contact the homebound elderly person will have with anyone outside their home. The meal route is usually complete by 1:00 p.m.
Through volunteer activities, SJCS participants develop employment and life skills, build relationships with people without disabilities, meet personal goals and gain self-esteem by helping others. All volunteer activities are supervised by a trained St. John's Community Service Staff member in cooperation with the assigned nonprofit agency supervisor.
The Northwest Tennessee Human Resource Agency Nutrition Program is honored to have this partnership and looks forward to a long relationship.
“Thank you all for giving good, safe, & reliable services.”
– Barbara M. of Springfield, TN
“You all are wonderful, just can’t do without you! All of your drivers are so good to me.”
– Elizabeth H. of Williamson County
“I am writing to express my appreciation to you and your staff. In a hospital setting I often deal with patients/families with unique needs that are not easily met by typical agency resources and I am so grateful to call your office and find that you have a driver available to help that family.”
– Martha B. of Waverly, TN
“I greatly appreciate the services that Mid-Cumberland provides for me and my family.”
– Nancy W. of Dickson, TN
“Mid-Cumberland is truly a wonderful company with great service.”
– Dorothy R. of Rutherford County
“I just wanted to say thanks for the Mid-Cumberland van. It is so useful for us elderly and the handicapped. I ride it quite often to the bank, grocery store, doctor, and any where else I need to go.”
– Ruth G. of Gallatin, TN
“What does Mid-Cumberland Transportation Service mean to me? I am 91 years old and have no husband or children. It is my only means of visiting the doctor and grocery shopping. I am very grateful to Mid-Cumberland.”
– Vivian S. of Dover, Tenn.
“Everyone I’ve had contact with at the Mid-Cumberland Transit Agency has always gone beyond my expectations.”
– Mary Ann of Springfield, Tenn.
“Transportation for people with disabilities is not easy. You will never know how that trip to Springfield helped me find happiness for that one day.”
– Cindy D. of Nashville, Tenn.
“Your drivers are very professional, show their kindness and are very helpful.”
– Geneva S. of Dickson, Tenn.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Success Stories
Accommodation of needs:
Issue #1: 6’6’’ resident is utilizing a standard size wheelchair which does not support his body frame (i.e. lower forearms, wrists, and feet overextend assistive device resulting in resident having contractures). For sleeping, resident was provided a “hospital bed” (standard in nursing homes) that was designed for average sized individuals. (Note: Resident seen daily by physical therapy for wound care treatment but issue not assessed or addressed.)
Ombudsman intervention resulted in: Facility completed quality assurance assistive device study and implemented facility wide policy that all new admissions are assessed for appropriate adaptive equipment and the current long term residents were reassessed as well. Residents requiring new wheelchairs, walkers, beds, etc. did receive.
Issue#2: Cognitively aware, disabled, quadriplegic biochemical engineer in early his early 50’s with inoperable brain tumor and slow/limited verbal skills, wished to use his personal computer utilizing sip and puff technology (set up in his room upon admission 5 months earlier) and wants to eat in the formal dining room where could eat and interact with equally alert and oriented residents. (While being fed in assisted dining room with cognitively impaired residents, resident had little social interaction and on several occasions one of the cognitively impaired residents had pulled off his sheet revealing him wearing only running shorts.)
Ombudsman intervention resulted in: Facility established a schedule that allows the resident to be positioned in front of his computer for one hour each day. Resident is now taken to dining room for all meals. (Ombudsman had to intervene to prevent facility staff from waking and transferring the resident into his wheelchair at 4:00am for the breakfast meal. Staff rational: not enough staff on day shift to wait to get him up and ready to go to the dining room for the breakfast meal.)
Issue #1: Resident must use a foley catheter urine bag. Urine bag is visibly hooked to resident’s wheelchair while in dining room and in all public areas.
Ombudsman intervention resulted in: Facility implemented policy that all catheter urine bags are to be placed inside a no-see through bag/container.
Issue #2: Resident is transported in wheelchair down public hallway without clothes and only a linen sheet draped over her to receive a shower in the communal bathroom.
Ombudsman intervention resulted in: Immediately, facility mandated that all residents are to be transported in full clothing and some type of footwear when leaving their rooms.
Resident Rights Violations:
Issue #1: Wheelchair bound resident with long standing mental health issues involuntarily discharged by nursing home facility to a homeless shelter without medications, follow up psychiatric services, income, or long term care shelter.
Ombudsman intervention resulted in: Immediate referral to Department of Health regulatory agency for investigation; facility cited an immediate jeopardy citation for immediate/potential harm to resident. (Ombudsman Program diligently advocates on behalf of long term care residents to assure they receive a safe and appropriate discharge, when necessary.)
Issue #2: Residents with cognitive impairment and physical limitations are required to eat each meal in their rooms versus being allowed to receive meals in formal dining room (denied social interactions, stimulus, etc.).
Ombudsman intervention resulted in: Facility coordinated with residents and their responsible parties to identify those interested in integrating into the formal dining program. Facility implemented a schedule to accommodate the significant increase in residents attending meals outside of their rooms and in the formal dining program.
ETHRA STAFF SUPPORTS MEDIC
Staff has been a long time participant with Medic. In early December, staff included a blood drive as a part of the 2-day training held at the Jubilee Center in Knoxville.
"Medic provides a great benefit for our employees. To really understand the importance, it just takes an emergency and a need for blood. Thank you Medic and thank you staff," said Gary Holiway, ETHRA Executive Director.
ETHRA HOSTS BREAKFAST
Members of the upcoming 108th General Assembly were invited to join East Tennessee County Mayors and Board officers for breakfast hosted by ETHRA and ETDD (East Tennessee Development District). The meeting was held on Friday morning, November 16th, at ETHRA's regional office in Knoxville.
There will be a number of new legislators serving East Tennessee and this was an opportunity for the Mayors and staff to meet them.
ETHRA provided information on services and contacts for when their constituents ask for help.
Could there be hungry people right here in East Tennessee? The answer is YES.
Christmas is a joyous time but for some it just highlights their struggles to feed their family. With so much of the holiday centering around food, it stands to reason there would be added requests for help at local food banks. And there are.
There is another way families are helped and it is through USDA's Commodity Supplemental Food Program. The Federal government has been purchasing surplus foods since 1973 for distribution through local non-profit agencies. The foods are to supplement other groceries.
ETHRA distributes commodities in Campbell, Claiborne, Morgan, Scott and Union Counties. The program is provided in other East Tennessee counties by Community Action Agencies.
Union County staff provided food boxes to over 350 families on December 12th. It was a festive sight with happy greetings and hellos back and forth like you might see at a church supper. "How is your daddy?" "Hey there, is Louise home from the hospital?" "Haven't seen you in forever." "Did Willie get a job?
They stood in line in the cold. The traffic was jammed and cars parked everywhere. It didn't matter because each family was getting help stretching their food dollars.
Boxes included premium canned pears, canned peaches, old fashion oatmeal, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, mixed fruit, spaghetti sauce, canned pork, and apple-cranberry juice. Hmmm! visions of cookies and pies.
Listen. You can still hear "Are we getting cheese?"
NWTHRA, NWTDD EMPLOYEES GIVE CASH, TIME
IN HONOR OF EXEXCUTIVE DIRECTOR, JOHN BUCY
MARTIN – In honor of executive director John Bucy, employees of the Northwest Tennessee Human Resource Agency and Development District donated more than $250 cash and their time packing backpacks in the Weakley County Schools Backpack Program this past Christmas.
In 2010, the Weakley County Schools Nutrition coordinator spoke to the Dresden Rotary Club about the challenges of teaching and fostering good nutrition in the school system. During her presentation, she talked about the problem of children not having enough to eat and that some communities had started providing food to hungry children on the weekends as a way to supplement their diet.
“After that meeting, several people met and discussed the formation and viability of a program to feed the hungry children of Weakley County,” Bucy said. “It seemed like a good idea and the right thing to do.”
Many months were spent studying other backpack programs, raising money, and complying with applicable state and federal laws. All of this was done entirely by volunteers in the community. The Dresden Rotary Club provided the initial seed money to begin buying the food.
The program initially fed 17 children at Dresden Elementary School in the fall of 2011.
In the 2012-2013 school year, the program was expanded to reach students kindergarten through 12th grade. With the help of tireless volunteers throughout Weakley County, the program currently serves children in each school throughout Weakley County with a total reach of more than 200 children.
The Weakley County Backpack Program maintains the highest level of confidentiality and anonymity possible. The board and volunteers do not know the names of the children who benefit from the program.
The children in the program have food placed in their backpacks each Friday to provide nutritious food over the weekend. The program serves the school children and their siblings who also live in the home.
“We still live in the richest country in the world and no child should go hungry,” Bucy said. “The Backpack Program not only provides food, but it also provides unconditional love to children by faithful volunteers who give their time and efforts each month.”
The Weakley County Backpack program is organized by a volunteer board and supported by community members. As a nonprofit organization, 100 percent of the funding comes from private donations and goes directly to the purchase of food. Funding is a necessity to sustain and grow the program.
“This was the best gift,” I could have asked for,” Bucy said. “It was the perfect gift for the children of Weakley County.”
Dads graduate from pilot program in McNairy Co. jail
By Katie Shambo
Story Created: May 20, 2015 at 5:11 PM CDT
Story Updated: May 20, 2015 at 8:49 PM CDT
SELMER, Tenn. -- A first in McNairy County Wednesday as a group of men take a big step forward toward change.
Wednesday morning, the McNairy County Jail held its first graduation for its fatherhood pilot program.
"The sheriff said that I don't have to come back and that really stuck with me," inmate and graduate Joseph Lands said.
Lands has been working toward this day since September.
"It means the world. I mean without a second chance we'd be dead in the water we wouldn't have a leg to stand on and this gives us an opportunity to be a better person to be a productive member of society," Lands said.
Lands is one of five inmates who make up the McNairy County Jail's first graduating class of the 'Inside Out Dad' program.
The program was established to help incarcerated fathers with parenting skills along with other resources and opportunities that will help them when they're released.
"It's a curriculum to help them be better fathers, to help them be better husbands, to help them be better leaders of their families and be better in the workforce," director Jimmy Bell said.
Bell said each year 700,000 people are released from jails and prisons and within three years more than 2/3 are back behind bars.
For some, jail is a time to rethink, refocus and make the necessary steps not to re-offend and that's what the 'Inside Out Dad' program is designed to do.
"Knowing that people care it helps out a lot. I mean it makes you want to strive to be a better person it's a good thing," Lands said.
Lands has a 10-year-old daughter and said he has been in and out of jail six times, but with his new skills and resources, "this will be my last," he said.
Bell said in addition to helping the men be better dads they are now prepared to support their families.
"They all have a resume now," Bell said.
They also now have a desire to leave a life of crime behind.
During TAHRA's Annual Training Conference held in Gatlinburg, Candace Gump was awarded the 2016 Gordon Acuff Award of Excellence to recognize and honor her work at First Tennessee Human Resource Agency. Challenged with providing rural transportation services for the eight county region of Northeast Tennessee, Candace researched and established an alternative fuel program for her fleet of vehicles. Pictured above (left to right) are John Bucy - Gordon Acuff Award Committee Chairman and Northwest Human Resource Agency Executive Director, Candace Gump - NET Trans Director, and Jason Cody - TAHRA President and First Tennessee Human Resource Agency Executive Director.
Her energetic and impassioned nature made easy work of the demands found in a project this size. Candace's efforts to lower operational costs, convert vehicles to be more efficient by using two sources of fuel (propane and gasoline), construct a pumping station, train mechanics and staff members are what made her work stand out over the other Gordon Acuff Award submissions.
NET Trans (Northeast Tennessee Rural Transportation System) operates approximately 100 passenger vehicles. These vehicles are used to transport rural residents of all ages (giving first priority to the elderly, the handicapped, and the economically disadvantaged residents with medical needs). Candace projects that the use of bi-fuel systems in her vehicles will provide a conservative net savings per vehicle of $9,000 over their useful life.
Candace's work captures the spirit of a true pioneer in the delivery of social services begun by Gordon Acuff as he worked to help low income families and preserve social service programs by working with members of the Tennessee General Assembly to write the Human Resource Agency Act of 1973. This Act established a system to touch families from one end of the state to the other. The Gordon Acuff Award process allows each Human Resource Agency to tell their story while highlighting the best in our community services. Candace deserves a tremendous pat on the back from all of us. Toot your horn as the 2016 Gordon Acuff Award Honoree!
Tennessee HRA News
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Tahra - Your Best Choice to Deliver Hope to Your Community
Over the past 35 years our association (Tahra) has established an effective statewide network to deliver social services to our communities. Every day we help more Tennesseans become self sufficient through the effective delivery of financial support, job training, transportation, nutritional services, and many other important social services to our friends and neighbors in need. Our proven track record delivering a broad selection of programs, our strong and experienced network of employees and volunteers, and our cost-effective administrative structure make us your best choice to deliver hope to your community.
Our association is formed by nine Human Resource Agencies delivering social services to all 95 counties in Tennessee. In 1973, the Tennessee General Assembly established the Human Resource Agencies to be the delivery system for human services throughout the state. Authorized by Chapter 289 of the Public Acts of 1973, Tennessee’s Human Resource Agencies operate under the authority of Title 13, Chapter 26 of Tennessee Code Annotated.
Our agencies have pioneered many programs to help the people of Tennessee. Our seasoned staff leads state-wide initiatives to improve efficiencies in policies and procedures, streamline processes, and train staff and volunteers. Our reputation for delivering services is one of impeccable quality and understanding compassion. Our success is built on our staff. Over the years, our agencies have developed a strong network of over 6,500 experienced employees and dedicated volunteers. Our agencies are currently staffed with 2,682 full and part-time employees. Over 3,800 volunteers join with our staff to deliver services vital to many people in our state.
Easily accessible to the community through local county offices, each agency builds on the wealth of program knowledge and experience gained over our 35-year history to strengthen local support, improve relationships with funding sources and governing officials, and help people in need. With our established state-wide network and strong operating infrastructure, tahra is the best choice for delivering services to people in need throughout our state.