Assembly bill aims to prevent abuse and increase oversight at memory care homes

TRENTON – A pair of Assembly lawmakers announced plans Wednesday to introduce legislation they say would improve oversight of certain senior housing facilities.

Assemblywomen Valerie Vainieri Huttle, (D-37), and Connie Wagner, (D-38), said they would improve how the state responds to allegations of misconduct and abuse and step up enforcement of current regulations of for-profit memory care homes. The legislation stems from published reports that allege “of troubling incidents that occurred at facilities operated by Memory Care Living at Potomac Homes,” they said.

“I am concerned about the lack of accountability and oversight of these facilities cited in the report,” Vainieri Huttle said in a release, citing a case in which a man suffering from dementia wandered from the group home and was later found standing in the middle of a busy intersection.

“The incidents are too many and too disturbing to ignore. Individuals with Alzheimer’s are especially vulnerable and we must ensure that they are receiving appropriate care in a safe environment,” she said. “This is a health and safety issue and a consumer issue.”

The bill would also clamp down on misleading advertising that refers to the homes as nursing homes or assisted living homes.

“These diseases are debilitating and require a level of care that many are unable to provide at home. The incidents cited in this report are heartbreaking,” said Wagner. “Families who entrust the care of their relatives to these facilities should have the peace of mind that their loved ones are getting the care they need and require.” Assembly bill aims to prevent abuse and increase oversight at memory care homes