Ombudsman Ventura County
Care of our elderly.





Long Term Care of Ventura County- Ombudsman was honored with a
CLvFFie AWARD
testimonial

Dear Ombudsman,

Please accept this belated note to thank you so much for your caring & encouragement.

Because of your knowledge and generous intervention through working with us, my mother lived out her remaining months on this earth peacefully and content as she wished in the safety and comfort of her own home. We will always be grateful to you."

Yvonne & Tom S



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testimonial

Support Group Attendees

“These support group meetings are wonderful and believe me they really work.  Thank God I came to them.”

Morrie S.



About Us
articles about caring for our elderly.....

"Senior Advocate: Ombudsmen Have Crucial Role in Elder Care"
By — Betty Berry, Ventura County Star

Q: I recently visited someone in a nursing facility and noticed a poster providing contact information for the ombudsman. I don’t know what an ombudsman does and what, if any, organization is involved.
A: The program you are asking about is the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. It is a nationwide nonprofit organization that helps ensure quality care for residents of skilled nursing and assisted-living care facilities.
Go to our BLOG to read the full article

Governor's Severe Cuts to Ombudsman Program Expose Elders to Abuse and Neglect (Press Release)
Authors: Pat McGinnis, Executive Director, CANHR and Michael Connors, Advocate, CANHR
Date: October 10, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO - - With the stroke of his pen, Governor Schwarzenegger has imperiled 250,000 nursing home and assisted living residents by eliminating all state funding for California's long term care ombudsman program.

In a little publicized line item veto on September 23, 2008, the Governor cut $3.8 million (100 percent of California state funds), which represents about half of all funding for ombudsman services.
Read full article - PDF

BEING SENIOR OMBUDSMAN

Author:Ventura County Supervisor, Linda Parks
Date: June 2007

BEING SENIOR OMBUDSMAN: As our population ages, society is turning more of its attention to meeting the growing needs of our senior population. Not only are more people than ever becoming seniors, people are also living longer.
Read full article - pdf

CRIME PREVENTION HANDBOOK FOR SENIORS
Author:Ventura County District Attorney

PREVENTING AND REPORTING ELDER ABUSE: Do not be a victim. Do not let others be victims. It is very important for the elderly, their family members and friends to be part of the solution to the problem of elder abuse.
Go to website

 

Meet the board of directors

Jim Stueck, Chair, Board of Directors

Jim Stueck



Jim Stueck has served on the Board of Directors for 11 years, formerly as board chair – three terms - and currently as the agency’s community education representative. Jim, a native Californian, received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. For the past 30 years Jim has worked as a Financial Service Representative.

His community involvement includes Board Member and Founding Member of Moorpark Boys and Girls Club; President of the Moorpark Chamber of Commerce; Member and currently President of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors – San Fernando Valley.

He is active in his church and currently serves as President of the Board of Trustees of Presbytery of Santa Barbara. Jim and his wife Mickey have lived in Moorpark for the past 28 years and have an adult son, great daughter in law and two amazing grandchildren.

Jim says, “Being part of the Ombudsman Program has brought me great satisfaction in knowing I am supporting a work that is vitally important for the care and well being of our elderly in long term care. The program has been an incredible repository of knowledge and information for me and what I have learned has made me much more capable and confident in how to help my own aging parents”.

Erbie Daw, Vice Chair, Board of Directors

Erbie Daw



Erbie Daw, Vice Chairman, has served on our board of directors since the year 2000. Originally from Alabama, he has lived in Ventura County for over 40 years and is owner of Damar Construction in Ventura.  He and his wife Nancy have two married sons, and four grandchildren.  When Erbie isn’t working or helping out with agency events, he loves to travel across country and abroad

As a veteran, Erbie is very committed to the mission of the Ombudsman Program to “help ensure the highest quality of life possible for all our neighbors in long term care.” 

Lisa DiMolfetto, Secretary, Board of Directors

Lisa DiMolfetto



Lisa DiMolfetto, Secretary, began volunteering as an advocate for seniors in 2008 when she became an ombudsman with Long-Term Care Services of Ventura County.  Lisa continued serving as an ombudsman in Santa Clara County when she moved to the Bay Area, and upon her return to Ventura County in 2011, became a member of the Board of Directors.  Lisa has worked in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry for the past 15 years, with 9 of those for Amgen, and before her career in this industry, earned her PhD in Immunology from U.C. Davis. 

A native of Bakersfield, CA, Lisa has never lived beyond the borders of California.  Lisa has been especially close to her parents, who inspire her to appreciate seniors, find great joy in their company, and advocate for their rights.

Dana Bowen, Treasurer, Board of Directors

Betty Duarte


Treasurer, has served on the Board of Directors since the year 2000, formerly as board chair – two terms - and currently as treasurer.   A CPA for 29 years, Dana brings a wealth of expertise in her role.  She is actively involved in the financial stewardship of Long Term Care Services, and over the years has provided hundreds of hours of professional pro bono services.  Currently she is a partner in BSI Energy Partners, LLC., where she also serves as the Chief Financial Officer.

Dana says, “Being able to help create a better life for our seniors in long term care through the work of the Ombudsman Program brings me great personal satisfaction and joy.  This work is a gift to me.”

Jacqueline Lacombe

Jackie Lacombe



Jackie Lacombe has served on the Board of Directors since January, 2008. A native of Michigan, Jackie has lived in Old Agoura for the last 25 years.   She attended Moorpark College and CSU Channel Islands as a Psychology Major with an emphasis in Gerontology and is employed by Amgen. Jackie has long been an advocate of the elderly, serving as a volunteer for Westlake Village Meals on Wheels for 15 years.

“My involvement with LTC Services began in 2006 with the Ventura Ombudsman Senior Santa program.  I was very impressed with the organization’s leadership and compassionate treatment and advocacy for Ventura County Seniors.  LTC Services is an amazing program and I am honored to be a part of their efforts to improve the lives of seniors and long term care residents of Ventura County.”

Diana L. McKenzie

Diana L. McKenzie



Diana L. McKenzie joined the Board of Directors in 2011.  Currently, Diana serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Amgen Inc.   In this position, she is responsible for leading Amgen’s Global Information Systems organization.  Prior to joining Amgen, Diana served for 17 years in a variety of Information Systems Leadership roles at Eli Lilly and Company supporting Research & Development, Corporate Engineering, Human Resources, and IT Architecture, Strategy, and Planning. 

She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Purdue University’s School of Computer Technology in 1986 and was recognized by the university as a Distinguished Alumni in the spring of 2004. She has completed coursework towards a Masters Degree in Public Health Policy with an emphasis in Informatics.

She is married with two sons and lives in Thousand Oaks California.  She enjoys motorcycling, rock climbing, and competing in triathlons.

"I was interested in volunteering my time to an organization focused on making a difference for under-served populations when a friend introduced me to the leader of Ventura’s LTCS.  Following a 30 minute conversation I was so impressed with the tremendous amount they accomplish with so few resources that I couldn’t imagine not being a part of it!"

contact information

Long-Term Care Services of Ventura County, Inc.
2021 Sperry Avenue, Sutie 35
Ventura, CA 93003
Office fax number: (805) 658-8540
Telephone (805) 656-1986

URL: www.OmbudsmanVentura.org

See A Map

Directions:
From 101 exit going south onto Victoria Avenue. Turn right on Valentine and left onto Sperry Avenue. Turn right into the third driveway.

All services are free and confidential
Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week


Sylvia Taylor Stein, Executive Director
staylor@ombudsmanventura.org

Kathy Terry, Field Services Coordinator
kterry@ombudsmanventura.org

Cassandra Sproule, Complaint Resolution Coordinator
complaint.res@ombudsmanventura.org

Vicky Odle Administrative Assistant
admin@ombudsmanventura.org

History of the ventura county ombudsman.....

Two members of the National Council of Jewish Women, Bee Ellisman and Shirley Radding, began the Ombudsman Program in Ventura County in 1981. Based on the founding principle that elderly persons unable to care for themselves are entitled to dependable and consistent care, the Ombudsman’s (an old Swedish word meaning advocate) mission is to assure the highest quality of life and care possible for the frail elderly in long term care.

With a small grant to get started, the founders, one staff member, and two volunteers began monitoring the 12 nursing facilities in Ventura County and advocating for decent care and quality of life for their 1,482 elderly residents. In the early 80’s, long-term care was a frustrating and saddening experience for the frail elderly who required it, and they desperately needed an advocate. In 1988 the founders incorporated Long Term Care Services of Ventura County, Inc., a 501 (C) (3) non-profit charitable corporation to administer the program. In 1991 the Ventura County Ombudsman program was named a model program by the State of California for its outstanding efforts on behalf of institutionalized elderly.

Bee - Sylvia - Shirley
Bee Ellisman, Sylvia Taylor Stein and Shirley Radding

What makes Ventura County’s program so outstanding (besides its many support services) is its facility visitation plan. The Federal mandate governing the Ombudsman program nationwide requires only one annual visit per facility, however, the founders, foreseeing the built-in failure in such a deficient model, set a mandate for Ventura County that stipulated all skilled nursing facilities would be monitored a minimum of once a week and all assisted living facilities a minimum of once a month. This mandate continues today as four staff and 50 state certified ombudsman volunteers actively advocate for decent care and quality of life for 8,500 frail elderly in Ventura County’s 234 long term care facilities – 60% of whom have no family or friends to watch out for them or visit them and are too fearful, vulnerable or frail to represent themselves.

Above information from website of-
volunteerventuracounty.org

 

IN THE Media

Sylvia Taylor-Stein
• VENTURA COUNTY STAR
"Long-term care advocate wins award"
By — Tom Kisken, 805-437-0255
Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The leader of a Ventura County ombudsman group that has led a drive to reduce the use of powerful drugs on nursing home residents suffering from dementia will receive a national award.


Sylvia Taylor-Stein, executive director of Long Term Care Ombudsman Services of Ventura County, will receive the award in October from the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. It is given each year to someone who has advocated effectively for people receiving long-term care.

'For an ombudsman, it's sort of the apex of achievement,' said Tony Chicotel of the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. He and Joseph Rodrigues, California state long-term care ombudsman, nominated Taylor-Stein. They emphasized her efforts on decreasing the reliance on antipsychotic drugs used to control behavior.

Chicotel said federal statistics that track nursing home use of medication show antipsychotic use is declining faster at nursing homes in Ventura County than in California and the U.S.

'Lots of people have been part of this, and they all deserve recognition,’ Chicotel said. 'But when it comes down to one person, it's Sylvia.' Taylor-Stein and her group organized symposiums and workshops over two years for long term care administrators, staff and doctors on an antipsychotic-medication issue that has evolved into a national movement.

Other ombudsman systems have used the programs as a model.

Taylor-Stein also formed a task force of nursing home providers who have worked to help facilities achieve what she calls “least drugging.” 

She helped elevate awareness on a complex and difficult issue, said John Gardner, administrator of Victoria Care Center nursing home in Ventura. There was once more of an adversarial relationship between watchdogs and long-term care providers over the use of antipsychotics, but that has changed, he said. 

“Early on, there was a different tone from both sides,” he said. “Over time, the awareness and the discussion has brought both sides a little closer together.” 

Taylor-Stein used to be an executive vice president of an international publishing company. She joined the Ventura County long-term care ombudsman group in 1999, inspired largely by her grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for 10 years before dying at age 92. She said the use of chemical restraints often comes when nursing home providers don’t know the stories of the people for whom they care well enough. They don’t know how to make them comfortable and happy in the facilities. 

“Some of the facilities, they’ve really stepped up,” she said of the decreasing use of the drugs. “Some are still struggling, but we have some real stars.” 

The Howard Hinds Memorial Award will be presented Oct. 26 at the Consumer Voice’s Conference in Arlington, Va. The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care dates to 1975, when it was founded out of concern about substandard nursing home care. The nonprofit advocates for quality care and quality of life for long-term care consumers. 



• VENTURA COUNTY STAR
"Local nursing homes leading movement to reduce chemical restraints"
March 7, 2013


Photo by Joseph A. Garcia, Ventura County Star
Health care professionals and nursing home administrators follow the keynote address at a symposium on alternatives to chemical restraints in long-term care.

Ventura County long-term care watchdogs and nursing homes are helping lead a national movement to reduce the use of powerful drugs aimed at controlling the behavior of people with dementia, according to leaders of a Thursday forum.

The use of antipsychotic drugs on nursing home residents in the county fell by 20 percent from 2010 to 2012, said attorney Tony Chicotel of the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, citing data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The use of psychotropic drugs, a broader category medicine that can control the mind, emotion and behavior, fell 12 percent over the same period.

“Ventura County is an epicenter for this movement,” Chicotel said at a symposium dedicated to alternatives to so-called chemical leashes. He cited the Medicare agency’s goal to reduce the use of antipsychotics on Alzheimer’s patients and others.

“What CMS is trying to prompt the nation to do, you’ve already done,” he said. “What’s going on here is remarkable. It’s worthy of praise. It’s worthy of continuing.”

Read more
- vcstar.com


• VENTURA COUNTY STAR
"Watchdogs, assisted living centers fight over release of names"
By Tom Kisken
April 7, 2012

Leaders of a watchdog program designed to protect residents in Ventura County's long-term care homes say three assisted living centers are denying them information they need to do their jobs.

The conflict, spreading across California, involves rosters of resident names and room numbers. Ombudsmen who monitor the county's 200 assisted living and board and care facilities say they've received the lists without question for 30 years, using them to locate residents who make complaints about care, safety or medications.

Read more
- vcstar.com



• VENTURA COUNTY STAR
"Ombudsman Program of Ventura County marks 30 years of advocacy"
November 2, 2011

Photo by Juan Carlo, Ventura County Star

It was a routine knee surgery.

An 82-year-old man from the Midwest was brought to California by his daughter for what was to be a short recovery.

Several weeks later, the man became more mobile. While running errands in Ventura, he called his daughter. He was turned around and was looking for directions. It was a simple matter of being unfamiliar with the area.

His daughter made a call of her own and had him assigned to a home that specialized in Alzheimer's patients. Except her father didn't have Alzheimer's.

Read more

- vcstar.com


• CANHR - California Advocates For Nursing Home Reform
"Popular Dementia Care symposia Coming to NorCal"
August 26, 2011

REGISTER NOW FOR Dementia Care Without Drugs – A Better Approach for Long-term Care Facilities
Read the full news article



• VENTURA COUNTY STAR
"Let them eat chocolate, says advocate of change in senior care"
By — Tom Kisken
Tuesday, August 11, 2011

At Tena Alonzo's nursing home, residents sleep as late as they want. Care schedules revolve around their convenience, not the staff's. If they're used to a small cocktail at night, they have one.
Read the full news article



• VENTURA COUNTY STAR
"Ombudsman program serves as watchdog in nursing facilities"
By — Martha Maciel
Tuesday, July 28, 2011

Sylvia Taylor-Stein

Photo by karen Quincy Loberg/VCStar - Sylvia Taylor-Stein, executive director of
Long Term Care Services of Ventura County Inc., leads a volunteer training session
for the Ventura County Ombudsman Program recently in Ventura. The volunteers
help the elderly residents of nursing homes and long-term-care homes.

The Ventura County Ombudsman program currently is training volunteers to help the elderly in sursing and long-term-care homes.
Read the full news article



• VENTURA COUNTY STAR
"Use of chemical restraints in nursing homes called an epidemic"
By — Tom Kisken
March 24, 2011

Ombudsman Ventura County

Photo byStephen Osman/VCStar - Sister Cristina Bocanegra of Mary Health of the Sick
skilled nursing facility in Newbury Park listens as long-term care advocates
held a toxic medicine symposium in Oxnard. Healthcare professionals, attorneys,
state regulatory agencies and Ventura County officials attended.

Nearly 25 percent of the residents in California's nursing homes are placed on antipsychotic drugs, often used as sort of a chemical leash to control behavior in a trend a watchdog called an epidemic Thursday at a symposium.
Read the full news article



• VENTURA COUNTY STAR
"Taylor-Stein: make 'least drugging' a nursing-home norm"
By — Sylvia Taylor-Stein
Tuesday, July 28, 2011

Frail and vulnerable residents of nursing homes throughout California are being dosed with powerful anti-psychotic drugs, leading to painful spasms, tremors, lethargy, a higher risk of harmful falls, infections and even death. Making matters worse, the drugs often cause behavioral problems, leading to even more drugs.
Read the full news article



• VENTURA COUNTY STAR
"Reform sought for state homes' monitor"
By —Tom Kisken
Tuesday, April 7, 2011

Ombudsman ventura County

Photo by Stephen osman/VCStar -

Jim Bauer, a state-certified ombudsman, checks in on patient Salvacion "Sally" Iglesia, who said "Jim is so understanding." Bauer and other volunteer ombudsmen serve as advocates who monitor long-term care facilitie
s



• GREY MATTERS
"Creating a Culture of Comfort: Alternative Method for Treating patients With Dementia"
By —Cheri
Tuesday,August 14, 2011


This is an article written by Mary C. Shea, Senior Deputy Public Defender. For the past 11 years, Mary’s assignment at the Public Defender’s Office is representing members of our society requiring a conservatorship placed over them due to their inability to care for themselves personally and/or financially. Mary is one of Ventura County’s most valuable members and the seniors of our community are very fortunate to have her “in their court.” Mary attended the August 11th workshop.

Read the full news article




• VENTURA COUNTY STAR
"Care found in county reaches both extremes"
By — Michael Collins
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A third of the nursing homes in Ventura County received low scores on the federal government’s rating system that was set up to show which facilities are doing a good or poor job providing care.
Go to our BLOG to read the full news article



• VENTURA COUNTY STAR
"Nursing Homes, Federal ratings give just part of the story"
By — Lee Bowman and Thomas Hargrove
(Scripps Howard News Service— Editor)
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A statistical analysis of the federal government’s first ratings of nearly 16,000 nursing homes reveals an uneven level of quality across the nation and shows how complicated it is to find a good nursing home.
Go to our BLOG to read the full news article



• VENTURA COUNTY STAR
"Senior Advocate: Ombudsmen Have Crucial Role in Elder Care"
By — Betty Berry, Ventura County Star

Q: I recently visited someone in a nursing facility and noticed a poster providing contact information for the ombudsman. I don’t know what an ombudsman does and what, if any, organization is involved.

A: The program you are asking about is the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. It is a nationwide nonprofit organization that helps ensure quality care for residents of skilled nursing and assisted-living care facilities.
Go to our BLOG to read the full article



• VENTURA COUNTY STAR
"Your Letters"
By — Mel Silberberg, Thousand Oaks
(The writer chairs the advisory council of the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging. — Editor)
Thursday, April 30, 2009

Re: your April 26 editorial, “Elderly need a watchdog”:

The Star deserves special praise for this editorial, which advocated on behalf of an important segment of our Ventura County community: frail and vulnerable elderly people. Read full article


• VENTURA COUNTY STAR
Editorial: Elderly need a watchdog
By Kevin Clerici
Sunday, April 26, 2009

AB935 WILL FUND OMBUDSMEN: Some are old, some will be lucky enough to grow old and most of us know and care about people who are older than we are. In other words, we all have a vested interest in ensuring the elderly are properly cared for. Read full article


• VENTURA COUNTY STAR
Photo by Juan Carlo
Star staff

Sylvia Taylor Stein, right, and Sue Tatangelo of the Camarillo Health Care District give each other a hug on Monday. "We have to take care of each other," Taylor Stein told about 250 people at the conference.


• VENTURA COUNTY STAR
Budget cuts threaten programs
By Kevin Clerici
Tuesday, October 28, 2008

SENIORS CALLED TO ACTION: Taylor Stein said the Ventura County ombudsman program has lost nearly $50,000 as part of the $3.8 million statewide cut, and federal matching money could be lost as well. The state and federal money account for a third of her roughly $300,000 budget to manage a team of nearly 50 state-certified volunteers. Read full article


• CALIFORNIA CHRONICLE
Newswire Services
January 9, 2008


VENTURA COUNTY CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION DONATES $10,000 TO LOCAL CHARITIES: Recipients of charitable funds, presented on Dec. 20, include: Long Term Care Services of Ventura County, Inc. Ombudsman Program. Read More...


• THOUSAND OAKS ACORN
November, 2006

VOLUNTEERS RECEIVE CLvFFie AWARD : Finalists have been selected in the following categories: Health Care: Jean Gordon, Isa Brente Shekter and Long Term Care of Ventura County- Ombudsman will also be honored. Read full article


• VENTURA COUNTY STAR
By T.J. Sullivan
April, 11, 2004

COMPAINTS ABOUT NURSING HOMES CAN SIT FOR MONTHS:The California Department of Health Services is delaying the investigations of many complaints filed against nursing homes, a situation industry watchdogs say endangers the lives of society's most vulnerable elderly citizens. Read full article


• THOUSAND OAKS ACORN
By Lori Porter
January 8, 2004


OPERATION SENIOR SANTA BRINGS HOLIDAY CHEER TO THE ELDERLY: Ombudsman Long Term Care Services of Ventura County was back again this year with Operation Senior Santa (OSS), a program in which volunteers distribute holiday gifts to the more than 2,000 elderly residents in Ventura County’s 24 skilled nursing facilities.
Read More...


LOS ANGELES TIMES
By Massie Nitsch
November 18, 2002


NURSING HOME COMPARISONS START ON THE WEB: The data on 17,000 nursing homes that the federal government put on the Internet last week provide only a starting point for selecting homes and may not accurately measure their quality, say health-care administrators and watchdogs in Ventura County. ...“It’s a good piece in the chain of making a decision. I don’t think it’s the only piece,” said Sylvia Taylor, executive director of Long Term Care Services of Ventura County, a nonprofit organization that counsels families and inspects nursing homes. Read More...


• VENTURA COUNTY STAR
By Alicia Doyle
July 21, 2000


HELPING ELDERLY: Volunteers are voices for residents of lon-term care homes.
Read More...

Our mission

The Ventura County Ombudsman Program is founded on the principle that elderly persons unable to care for themselves are entitled to dependable and consistent care.

The Ventura County Ombudsman Program's mission is to assure the highest quality of life and care possible for our elderly in long term care facilities throughout Ventura County.

Background
In 1978 Congress amended the Older Americans Act to establish long-term care Ombudsman (a Swedish word that means "advocate") to serve the frail vulnerable elderly residents in long-term care facilities. This was a much-needed action and a result of the serious problems that surfaced when the nursing home industry exploded following the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

In Ventura County, two members of the National Council of Jewish Women founded the Ombudsman program. In 1988 the founders, Bee Ellisman and Shirley Radding, created Long Term Care Services of Ventura County, Inc., a not-for-profit charitable corporation, to administer the Ombudsman program.

Overview
Residents in long-term care facilities are among the most frail and vulnerable in Ventura County. Because many cannot represent themselves, they need assistance to improve their quality of life and care. The Ventura County Ombudsman Program advocates for the highest quality of life and care possible for all our elderly living in long term care facilities.

Although federal mandate requires only one visit per year per long term care facility, the Ventura County program, from inception, established a minimum of once a week visitation in skilled nursing facilities and a minimum of once a month visitation in all residential care facilities. This visitation schedule is still in place and ongoing today even though facilities in Ventura County have increased 900% since 1981. All Ombudsman visitation is unscheduled and unannounced.

The Ombudsman is trained, certified and mandated by federal and state authority to identify, investigate, and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents and to provide services to help in safeguarding their health, safety, welfare and rights. Pre-admission counseling and support group services are also provided as valuable and much needed services.

To ensure quality care the Ombudsman coordinates with licensing and regulatory agencies as well as law enforcement.

Meet the dedicated staff who serve our elderly

Sylvia Taylor-Stein
Executive Director
Sylvia Taylor-Stein

Sylvia Taylor-Stein Executive Director was introduced to the Ombudsman Program in August of 1999 and became actively involved in September of the same year. Sylvia, and her husband Marc, a native Californian, have five adult children and live in Ventura County. Sylvia’s greatest inspiration in her life was her grandmother who died at 92 years of age after suffering with Alzheimer’s disease for 10 years. It was this love and deep respect for her grandmother that influenced her desire to become involved with the elderly, and the exceptional advocacy work of the Ombudsman Program.

Sylvia received her higher education at Ambassador University in Hertfordshire England and the University of Northern Kentucky. Her work experience is extensive in the areas of publishing, marketing, management (including non-profit management) and public relations. She was executive vice president of an international publishing company for 12 years where she also served as director of its private foundation.

Sylvia says, “My grandmother was blessed to live and die at home with loving people around her. This is not the case for most of our elderly in long term care. My goal is to help build a strong ombudsman program here in Ventura County that can provide the effective advocacy, care and support they need and deserve.”

Kathy Terry
Field Services Coordinator


Kathy Terry, Field Services Coordinator, was introduced to the Ombudsman program during her tenure in the eldercare industry where she had worked for 8 years. Although she felt a kinship and knew she helped those she served, she also realized there were limitations that prevented her from fully advocating for those in need, and she had a deep yearning to do so. This had been birthed years earlier by the powerful influence of her paternal grandmother, who was a perfect example of taking stewardship over those seniors in her neighborhood who were vulnerable and alone. As she became familiar with the advocacy work of the Ombudsman, she knew, if ever given the opportunity, she would want to be an Ombudsman. In 2007 she was invited to come on staff.

Kathy is currently completing her Graduate program in Gerontology at California State University at Northridge. She and John, her wonderful husband of 32 years live in Ventura County and have four adult children.

“It is a joy to come to work everyday, knowing that this program is making a real difference in the lives of deserving individuals, who have earned the right to be treated with dignity and respect in the golden years of their lives. You can judge a society by how it treats its elders.”

Cassandra Sproule
Complaint Resolution Coordinator
Cassandra Sprouls


Cassandra Sproule, Complaint Resolution Coordinator is the newest member of the Ombudsman staff. Cassandra and her husband, Rob, along with their three children recently relocated back home to California after serving many years with the Salvation Army. While serving in the Salvation Army, Cassandra held many positions including: Pastor/CEO/Day Care Director/Program Developer for Youth and the Elderly.

During her program work with elderly women with disabilities, Cassandra created projects that allowed them to feel value and enjoy the fulfillment that comes with giving back to their families and communities through something they loved – sewing. She assisted them in learning new methods, and tools to enable them to rediscover their sewing talents and stay active.

Cassandra says, “When I was invited to become a member of the Ombudsman Program, I was very excited to be part of a program that brings so much benefit to our seniors in long term care facilities and the community as a whole.

Vicky Odle
Administrative Assistant
Vicky Odle


Vicky Odle, Volunteer Support & Administrative Assistant, is a California native, residing in Ventura with Alan, her wonderful husband of 25 years. After raising their two children, and working along side her husband in the family business, Vicky felt her needs grow, both professionally and spiritually. In 2001, Vicky went to work as an Accounts Receivable Specialist. After eight years of office work, Vicky received an opportunity to facilitate in the private rehabilitation field. It soon became evident to Vicky that her passions would always reside in an environment where giving back was prominent.

Later, when she found herself in the position of having to advocate for her mother and father during their time of illness she came to see the vital need for strong advocacy voices in our health care facilities. When offered a staff position at Long Term Care Services, Vicky felt no hesitation, and knew she had found her calling.

Vicky says, “Working for the Ombudsman Program has been a gift. I feel complete, and see only positive things in my future. I wake up every day feeling incredibly blessed, and grateful God has given me the opportunity to serve our seniors and their families.”



RESIDENT CATS
Favorite things to do - napping!
The resident cats...

 



Long Term Care Services of Ventura County, Inc.
Ombudsman Program

2021 Sperry Avenue - Suite 35,
Ventura CA 93003 

Tel: 805-656-1986  | Fax: 805-658-8540

Privacy Policy

Long Term Care Services of Ventura County, Inc is a 501(c)3 public benefit charitable corporation.
Corporate and individual donations are needed, welcomed and appreciated.
Funded in part by - Area Agency on Aging

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