Left Sitting

3. My elderly mother complains that she does not eat some days and that she is left sitting for hours, but I’m not sure that I can believe her because of her diminished mental state.  I live out of state and can’t afford frequent travel.  What should I do?

Many cases of nursing home neglect go unreported because the resident cannot communicate the problem. If you cannot visit regularly, try to find a friend or relative who will visit.  You should also establish a working relationship with the children of other residents and conduct your investigation using a team approach. You should also find out what types of activity reports are kept in [does GA law require certain types of reports] the facility and request in writing that the nursing home provide you copies of these reports.

The Georgia Department of Human Resources Division of Aging Services also maintains an ombudsman program whereby the State of Georgia can investigate allegations of neglect. You can reach the Georgia ombudsman’s office toll free at 1-888-454-5826, or by fax at 404-463-8384.