AARP New Jersey Applauds Legislature for Passing Additional Long-Term Care Reform Bills
Urges Governor Murphy to Swiftly Sign Bills that Would Improve Staffing and Virtual Visitation Requirements
Statement from AARP New Jersey State Director Stephanie Hunsinger
NEW BRUNSWICK (Sept. 24, 2020) – “We applaud the New Jersey Legislature for passing three significant pieces of legislation today that will help protect residents and staff in nursing homes and long-term care facilities in the Garden State.
“For a number of years, AARP New Jersey has been fighting to improve the minimum staff-to-resident ratio in long-term care facilities. With issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, AARP New Jersey has continued to advocate for legislation to improve staffing ratios. We applaud the New Jersey Legislature for passing A4652/S2712, which establishes mandatory minimum staffing levels to ensure better quality of care for nursing home residents. We urge the Governor to swiftly sign this bill on his desk.
“Also on the Governor’s desk is A4479/S2788, which establishes a program to provide one-time, lump-sum payments to long-term care staff who provided a certain volume of direct care services to residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe and quality long-term care does not exist without adequate numbers of well-paid and well-trained staff. This initiative will go a long way in recognizing the incredibly hard work of our front line workers.
“In addition to improved staffing levels for residents, we are pleased the NJ Legislature has passed A4007/S2785, a bill to implement an isolation prevention program in long-term care facilities, require virtual visitation in long-term care facilities when in-person visitation is suspended, and ensure adequate communications between facilities, residents and their families. For too many long-term care residents, it has been six months since they have seen the faces of those most dear to them. Social isolation is a serious health condition and has put our loved ones at risk.
“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 catastrophe that should never have happened and one that we must ensure never happens again. These bills implement measures that are necessary to protect residents, keep families connected and save lives.
“We commend the New Jersey Legislature for passing these critical pieces of legislation and urge Governor Murphy to sign these bills immediately. We also urge the New Jersey Legislature to pass the remaining long-term care reform bills that will 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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