The Southwest Missouri Ombudsman Program has exceptional people who volunteer their time advocating for residents of area nursing homes and Barbara Bastin just happens to be one of the best!  Barbara is a dedicated volunteer who advocates for her residents at NHC in West Plains, MO.

Barbara grew up in Kansas City, MO but moved to Costa Mesa, California, after graduation where she worked for the Orange County Department of Social Services where she established eligibility for the aged, disabled and the blind, now known as Adult Services.  She lived in Orange County for 13 years after which she returned to Kansas City and worked for the corporate offices of Yellow Freight for 13 years before moving to the West Plains area.

After her retirement, Barbara played the piano, led Bible study and provided the music for Sunday morning church service at the nursing home.  During this time, she started overseeing the care of a lady, that she went to church with, following her from her apartment to the Assisted Living and finally to the nursing home.  She indicated that she went to the nursing home, every day, to check on her.  While there, she became the advocate for other residents of the home.   Two employees, of the home, told her about the Ombudsman Program, asked her if she would consider volunteering for the program and the rest is history.   She has been faithfully advocating for residents since April, 2018.

Barbara says that volunteering makes her feel like she is making a difference in the lives of her residents.  Her goal is to memorize every resident’s name.  She says you can see a difference in them when you call them by name.  Barbara is goal-driven in all tasks and, just like her focus was in helping Missouri children, her focus now is helping Missouri’s elderly.  When she enters the door of the nursing home, Barbara says she leaves her own life at the door and enters the lives of the residents while volunteering.  She said, “Recognition is not my goal.  Making a difference in a life is what’s important.  Contributing wherever and whenever I can bring me great satisfaction!”

In addition to her many other accolades, Barbara was nominated for Ombudsman Volunteer of the Year, has served as judge for the District 4 Golden Age Games and nominated for nursing home volunteer of the year out of 90 area nursing homes at a recognition ceremony held at The Hilton in Branson, MO.

The Ombudsman Program and the residents of NHC are very lucky to have such a wonderful volunteer!