On October 3, 2018, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal joined with Department of Human Services Commissioner Robyn Crittenden, 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 proclaim 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 Governor Deal and their state House and Senate members asking for an increase in the Personal Needs Allowance (PNA). Governor Deal and the members of the Georgia General Assembly responded positively. Funds were recommended in the governor’s budget and increased by the legislature so that all residents will now have a PNA of $65 – an increase of $15 per month. Many of the Ombudsman Representatives across the state encouraged and facilitated the effort. In addition, Governor Deal signed several bills including SB 406 related to long-term care background checks and HB 803 related to trafficking an individual for his or her benefits.
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.
Submitted by the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Office.