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At Savannah's City Hall on October 8, 2001, former Mayor Floyd Adams signed a residents rights week proclamation declaring October 7-13, 2001 as Residents Rights Week for the City of Savannah. Pam Lipsitz, Coastal LTC Ombudsman, stands next to her residents from local nursing homes while witnessing this important event to honor and celebrate all area nursing home residents. "It was our goal to raise awareness that the federal Nursing Home Reform Act guarantees residents their rights and promotes and maintains their dignity and autonomy", said Ms. Lipsitz.

Nancy Hill, Middle Georgia LTC Ombudsman, visits Ms. Frances Wright and Mr. Marvin Smith, residents of Forsyth Nursing Home, along with Sam the Golden Retriever. Forsyth NH is an Eden Facility, and Sam is one of three facility dogs. Ms. Hill says, "The dogs greet all visitors to the nursing home, make nightly "rounds" to be sure all the residents are safe and sound, and often accompany residents when they go for a walk on the outdoor paths. The nursing home also has several cats, numerous birds and an outdoor goldfish pond. Ms. Wright operates a country store in the facility to help raise money for pet food and care. This facility represents a wonderful partnership between residents, staff, pets and the community. On every ombudsman visit, something is observed that represents the Eden principle, such as teenagers reading to the residents, a family member bringing the family dog to visit, a new cat that a CNA gave to the facility when she had to move, community volunteers calling bingo or singing or providing donated refreshments, a CNA anticipating a resident's needs and arriving at a resident's room before she even pressed her call button. While the Ombudsman Program tends to focus on solving problems, it is a joy to serve a nursing home that has broadened itself beyond just a health care facility, to become a community within a community."


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There is no charge for services provided by the Ombudsman Program. However, contributions are appreciated and are used to support additional Ombudsman services and activities to benefit Georgia's long-term care residents. To make a contribution, please click here to find your local program in the Georgia Community Ombudsman Listing.

Ombudsman Programs around the state are looking for volunteers. If you would like to become a volunteer for your area program, as a friendly visitor; office assistant; data entry person or join the staff as a Certified Volunteer, please click here to contact your local Ombudsman office listing.