Wednesday, June 10, 2020

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day


The World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) happens each year on June 15th as designated by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.  The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect. For more details, visit

Many organizations including Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs support strong advocacy to help end elder mistreatment. No one is immune to abuse, neglect and exploitation; it occurs in every demographic, and can happen to anyone.  We promote and protect each long-term care resident’s right to be free from abuse, neglect and exploitation.  These and other  residents' rights are guaranteed by the federal 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law and state law.

Georgia State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program provides information, advocacy, and education to help prevent elder abuse and safeguard the rights, dignity, and respect of long-term care facility residents. Please visit our website or contact our free, confidential number at 1-866-552-4464, option 5. 

Check out resources and information below to learn more about elder abuse:

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Final Week to Celebrate Older Americans Month

May is Older Americans Month.  According to Administration for Community Living (ACL), this year's theme, "Make Your Mark," highlights the difference everyone can make – in the lives of older adults, in support of caregivers, and to strengthen communities. For more information, please visit

Welcome to the last week of Older Americans Month! Even amid a global pandemic, Georgia Ombudsman Representatives have found ways to help long-term care facility residents with information and assistance, and addressing resident complaints to reach a resolution that satisfies the resident’s stated wishes.

For more information on Older Americans Month and the Older Americans  Act, please visit

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Melanie McNeil, Esq., State Long-Term Care Ombudsman


Dear volunteers:

During this month of April in which we honor volunteers, I want to thank you for all that you do in advocating for long-term care facility residents. Even during this time when you cannot visit in person, residents are missing your presence just as you are missing them.  A quote I heartily endorse is “To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.”

You may never know the profound effect that you have had on the vulnerable residents you serve.  A kind word, a gentle touch, or a listening ear can mean so much to someone who is sick, in pain or lonely. You generously give your gift of time to make many contacts, providing support and encouragement to make someone’s day a bit more bearable because you have taken the time to care and to listen.

You come from many different backgrounds. You have many different life experiences. And yet, you all have at least one thing in common: your willingness to give your time to help others. You volunteer for many different reasons, but whatever the reason may be, you provide support, skills, talents, and abilities to give someone hope, strength, and the courage to face another day.  You give your time generously without any expectation of reward. Yet, you receive the reward of comradeship with other volunteers who you may have never met otherwise. Lasting friendships, social activities, and new skills may be just some of the unexpected rewards that you gain from your volunteering experience.

I am humbled by your generosity of spirit and your compassion for your fellow human beings.  It is all of you who so generously give your time, your warmth, and your caring.  It is all of you, doing what you do, who make me proud to serve with you as the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.  Thank you for volunteering.



Tuesday, April 14, 2020

From Melanie McNeil, Esq., State Long-Term Care Ombudsman

First and foremost, staff of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman hope you are safe and well.

During this unprecedented time, please know that the Georgia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program remains committed to our mission to advocate for quality of care and quality of life for long-term care residents. We continue to be available to residents, families, facility staff, the general public and others. 

Based on CDC guidelines and Governor Kemp’s executive orders, we have temporarily suspended in-person visits in long-term care facilities. You may still reach us by telephone, e-mail, or at our web site  We will do our best to investigate and resolve complaints to the resident’s satisfaction by carrying out the necessary activities by telephone or e-mail, as appropriate. 

With orders restricting gatherings, we are not able to participate in community education events, resident council and family council meetings, or other in-person gatherings.  We are still available to provide information either by conference calls or by sending materials to groups that request them.

We are all learning new ways to communicate and stay connected.  Thank you so much for your continued support during these challenging times!

Please call us with any questions or concerns you may have by calling 1-866-552-4464 option 5 for Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program or send us information securely at

COVID-19 information and guidance can be found below:

Georgia Governor’s COVID-19 website:

Georgia Department of Public Health COVID 19 status update

CDC – Corona Virus and long-term care

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman attended the Georgia Tech EPIC Intentions Final Showcase on November 20, 2019 to celebrate Podcast project completion


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Investigation Exposes Broken Promises In Georgia's Senior Care Industry


For more information about the article, click below

Thursday, October 10, 2019

October is the time to honor long-term care residents

On October 9, 2019, Georgia Department of Human Services Commissioner, Robyn Crittenden,  joined with Division of Aging Services Director, Abby Cox; State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Melanie McNeil; Long-Term Care Ombudsman Advisory Council members, volunteers and the staff of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman to recognize the month of October as “Residents’ Rights Month”. 

In 2018, more than 1,000 nursing home residents from across the state sent letters and petitions to the Governor and their state House and Senate members asking for an increase in the Personal Needs Allowance (PNA). Governor Kemp and the members of the Georgia General Assembly responded positively. In 2019, residents again contacted their House and Senate members urging an increase to the total PNA authorized in law. Lawmakers agreed and increased the PNA to $70. Many Ombudsman Representatives worked with residents, resident councils and nursing home staff to assist residents with this advocacy effort.

The PNA is the monthly sum of money that residents who receive Medicaid may retain from their personal income. Any income above the allowance is applied toward the cost of their care. The PNA allows residents receiving institutional care Medicaid benefits to keep from their income $70 each month to pay for personal items such as clothing, shoes, haircuts, snacks, cards and postage, small gifts, etc.

We strongly encourage the community to participate in Residents’ Rights Month activities and to visit residents, who continue to be important members of our communities. Our staff and volunteers advocate for Georgia’s long-term care facility residents, empowering residents to exercise their rights to make their own decisions. 

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day   The World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) happens each year on June 15th as designated by the ...