Gloria Murray, Ombudsman

Gloria Murray is a New York State certified ombudsman and the Program Director for the Hudson Valley Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. Click the black squares below to hear and read about Gloria’s experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. The expanded interview (edited for clarity) is available at the bottom of the page.

I think before that we knew people were not feeling well, I had a few volunteers who weren’t feeling well but we never put the two of them together. So it was basically that day in March, I think it was March 17th as I remember and that’s when it first really hit that, okay this is… who knew? We thought it [would only be] a couple weeks, right, so that’s when it really hit.

It was challenging to know that I had about 20-something volunteers that were not going to be able to go into the facilities, and how to keep them engaged over what I did not know was going to be our future 12 months.

Well I think one of the positive things that did come out of it was that, technology was definitely used more we never thought of using technology to make visits with residents. Although we’re not always sure that they are private visits at least it’s a way to let us see the resident if they are complaining about something or if their families are complaining or are concerned if we can’t get there right away.

We lost a lot of volunteers so now we are in a rebuilding phase which is going to be challenging, because all of our volunteers are seniors.

You have to stay open-minded through all of this and just continually think about how to make things work within our role as ombudsman if we cannot get in there. But I’m hoping that this will never happen again in the future.

Click below for the expanded interview (05:37).