Friday, October 19, 2012

Fall Greetings from NJ's Long-Term Care Ombudsman

The fall is a busy time for those of us in the elder advocacy community. This is especially true because October is Residents' Rights Month, an annual event designated by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care to honor residents living in all long-term care communities.

Ombudsman McCracken speaks with residents at a nursing home.
This October, the Ombudsman’s office is travelling to several long-term care communities throughout the state to meet with residents and educate them about their rights as delineated in both the federal and the New Jersey Nursing Home Bill of Rights. In order to make this information both instructive and entertaining, we will be playing “Residents’ Rights Bingo”, which was developed by Mighty Rights Press, a Division of The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People.

We are also committing additional outreach resources to another area of significant concern to the health care community: advance care planning.

Elizabeth Speidel, OOIE Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, has developed a presentation that provides specific information on advance care planning tools and how important it is for people to have conversations with their loved ones about  end-of-life care or other medical decision-making issues. Elizabeth is available to speak to organizations interested in learning more about this topic. For more information, contact the OOIE outreach office at 609-826-5073.

We also interviewed with leaders of two Regional Ethics Committees, groups of dedicated health care professionals who volunteer their time helping long-term care communities resolve complex bio-medical ethical issues. TREC serves  Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester.  OREC serves Northern Ocean County.  Both of these groups do an amazing job. You can find the interview here.

Volunteer Advocate Jim Vine in his younger years
We also featured a spotlight on one of our stellar volunteers, Jim Vine. Jim, like so many of our volunteers, is extremely dedicated to providing advocacy, friendship and comfort to people living in long-term care. Jim was motivated to become a volunteer because of his late wife, Susie, whom he describes as “the quintessential giver”. Read his story here.

Our volunteers are the definition of “givers”.  They give their time, their patience, their talents and their energies to making life better for elderly people living in long-term care. I am endlessly amazed and awed by their commitment to the people we serve.

Lastly, I hope you enjoy enjoy a happy and healthy autumn.


  1. What a great story. I was just doing research on LTC software, when I came across your post. Thanks so much for the great story. I really enjoyed reading it.

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  3. This is wonderful, I'm happy to hear that the state is visiting long-term care facilities. Personally, my company provides assisted living in Meredith NH, and we're very fortunate that our state gives a lot of attention to our seniors.

    - Sue

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