AARP New Jersey Applauds Governor Murphy for Enacting Package of Long-Term Care Reform Bills
Urges New Jersey Legislature to Pass Remaining Bills to Protect Long-Term Care Residents and Staff
Statement from AARP New Jersey State Director Stephanie Hunsinger
TRENTON, N.J. (Sept. 16, 2020) – “We applaud Governor Murphy for enacting a package of bills today to reform long-term care facilities. These bills, the first of a larger package of legislative reforms making their way through the Legislature, make significant and necessary improvements to protect residents and staff at New Jersey nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
It is a tragedy that more than 7,100 residents and staff have died in New Jersey nursing homes and other long-term care facilities due to COVID-19. This is a tragedy that should never have happened and one that we must ensure never happens again. These bills implement measures that are critical in protecting residents and staff and will save lives. We are continuing to fight for additional measures to protect our loved ones – including safe staffing requirements and required virtual visitation.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, AARP New Jersey has been fighting for greater transparency and public reporting, regular and ongoing testing, adequate staffing and oversight, adequate personal protective equipment and required virtual visitation for residents.
We commend the Governor and NJ Legislature for passing this package, which addresses the need for regular, ongoing testing, adequate personal protective equipment and increased wages for low-paid direct care workers.
Legislation establishing a Direct Care Ratio will help ensure payments to long-term care facilities are used for the care of residents and increase accountability.
Today’s package creates a Long-Term Care Emergency Operations Center as well as a New Jersey Task Force on Long-Term Care Quality and Safety, which will develop recommendations to make improvements in long-term care facilities and create more and better options for residents to age in place, in their homes and communities. We are pleased the package also increases funding for long-term care facilities – 60 percent of which will increase wages for direct care staff, with the remainder allocated to COVID-19 preparedness and response measures.
We urge the Governor and New Jersey Legislature to pass the remaining long-term care reform bills that will help families stay connected, keep our loved ones safe and stem the loss of life.”
About AARP New Jersey
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. AARP New Jersey educates and advocates on behalf of those 50 and older on issues that are important to them, their families and to all Garden State residents. The organization works to strengthen New Jersey communities with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/nj or follow @AARPNJ on social media.
This story is provided by AARP New Jersey. Visit the AARP New Jersey page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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