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Area advocates for elderly honored for work against abuse
At the awards presentation were (l-r) Becky Kurtz, Georgia State Long-Term Care Ombudsman; Karla Ward, a subcontractor and EOO for Ward Management; Pam Lipsitz, Coastal program coordinator; and Coastal staffers Kathy Gaulin, Marcia Berens and Windy Spell. - photo by Photo provided.
The Coastal Georgia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program was recognized at a recent statewide conference for its performance and initiatives to enhance the prosecution of elder abuse cases.
In the last year, the area program has met or exceeded all of its goals and requirements. In addition, the staff has instigated a number of advocacy and special projects. The staff advocated for better prosecution of elder abuse cases, resulting in the hiring of an elder abuse assistant district attorney within the Chatham County District Attorney’s office. Also, Ombudsman staff helped organize a seminar with state and national experts addressing the topic of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Other tasks and initiatives included assisting in the emergency relocation of personal care home residents; advocating for residents through coordination with the state Office of Regulatory Services and rejuvenating a long-term care newsletter for area facilities and agencies.
The Coastal LTCOP is a resident-centered advocacy program that serves the residents of nursing homes, assisted living homes, group homes and community living arrangement homes. The service area covers nine counties including Liberty and Long. Ombudsman staff and volunteers visit the residents routinely to observe conditions, quality of life and care that is being provided.
Dr. Marcelle Bernard was recognized recently for her 10 years volunteering to the Coastal Ombudsman. In addition, the program has successfully partnered with South University’s Pharmacy Program students to engage in a volunteer service learning project.
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program federally and state mandated. It is administered through the Division of Aging Services within the Georgia Department of Human Resources. The program is contracted to the Area Agency on Aging in Brunswick and sub-contracted to Ward Management.
If you have questions or would like to volunteer, call (912) 236-6747.
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