Keep up with New Jersey's ongoing effort to advance the welfare of elderly people. The state's Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly (O.O.I.E.) is an independent state agency, charged with protecting the rights of seniors living in long-term care. The Office is responsible for investigating allegations of abuse and neglect of people, age 60 and older, living in nursing homes and other long-term healthcare facilities. Follow this blog and learn about our latest initiatives.
On October 17, 2013, Governor Christie signed into law a bill of rights for independent residents living in Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs). The bipartisan legislation, bills S2052 / A3132, will ensure that residents of independent living sections of CCRCs have an active role in decisions that impact their daily lives. It clarifies that a resident has the right to express a complaint without fear of interference, discharge or reprisal and has the right to contact the New Jersey Long-Term Care Ombudsman (known in the state as the Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly). It also enumerates certain legal, medical and financial rights. New residents will receive a written copy of the resident's rights prior to the execution of a continuing care residency agreement and a statement of resident's rights entitled "Bill of Rights for Continuing Care Retirement Community Residents in Independent Living" must be posted in a conspicuous place and distributed to all residents. The Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs may levy and collect penalties in the amount of not less than $250, and not more than $50,000, for each violation of the act. The act shall take effect May 1, 2014.