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Statewide program seeks volunteers

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, a division of the Department of Elder Affairs, is a statewide volunteer program advocating for residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The council needs volunteers in Hernando, Sumter, Lake and Marion counties.

Volunteers investigate complaints and conduct facility inspections. Ombudsmen are selected after being interviewed and approved by the local council. Training is provided.

Anyone can apply to become an ombudsman, but there is a need for specialized volunteers including pharmacists, elder law attorneys, registered dietitians, social workers, nurses and physicians. The program seeks individuals of all cultural backgrounds, and fluency in multiple languages is a plus.

Ombudsmen and their immediate family members are required to be free from conflict of interest, meaning they must not be affiliated with long-term care facilities. Those interested can call Maureen Anderson, area coordinator at the Ocala central office, toll-free at 1-888-831-0404 or (352) 620-3088.

Raffle to award $2,200 hearing aids

Digital hearing aid raffle tickets are available at various locations of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services of Florida.

Tickets cost $5 each for the chance to win two digital hearing aids valued at $2,200. This includes one year of free followup service. Enter as often as you like.

The drawing will be held Feb. 29 at the Stone Soup Arts and Music Festival, which will be in the Publix Plaza, Fox Hollow and Little Road, in Port Richey. It is not necessary to be present to win.

The DHHS main office is at 8610 Galen Wilson Blvd., Port Richey. For entries and details, call DHHS at (727) 816-1314 (voice) or (727) 816-1868 (TTY).

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