Thursday, November 14, 2013

NJ Governor Signs Resident Bill of Rights

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.