Kemp signs bill to bring sweeping reforms to senior care in Georgia
I have been working with the Elder Action Team at the Georgia Legal Services Chatham County Division. Throughout my time with the program, I have watched the senior staff attorney that I work for and other lawyers in the division advocate for seniors who would not be able to afford legal representation otherwise. I have seen them help seniors who were being pushed out of their care homes stay in their residences or find even better places to live. I have also seen them advocate for seniors who are having family disputes and don’t have anyone else to turn to. This article details new reforms to nursing homes and personal care homes that afford more rights to seniors and improves their living conditions. The article represents a multitude of narratives, from the seniors themselves to the lobbyists who have dedicated their lives to advocating for them in the Georgia State Legislature. The only critique that I would give the article is that it does lack the voice of the attorneys who are doing the work on a day to day basis. While the lobbyists are important and often consult the attorneys who are doing the work in order to better advocate for legislation, it is these attorneys that do the work on the ground. This article and the discussions that I have been present for during my work, have forced me to think about how some issues are greater than the politicians surrounding them. The governor of Georgia is not necessarily the most popular in my office or across the state, but signing this legislation was a major non-partisan “win” for the work that the attorneys of my office do. This has shown me that sometimes it is necessary to put partisan issues aside in order to reach these victories. This kind of advocacy is integral to the work that is being done by GLSP and is a skill that is useful for me if I choose to continue to do non-profit work going forward.