‘Bill of rights’ for seniors in continuing care centers signed into law

TRENTON – The so-called bill of rights for elderly residents of continuing care centers has been signed into law.

Among other things, the legislation mandates that each resident receive a copy of a disclosure statement from the facility, as well as an explanation written in plain language of the rights and responsibilities of a resident.

The resident then has 30 days to review those documents before executing the agreement.

In addition, community operators must inform residents of per diem fees being charged during absences, and centers must inform residents in writing of appeal rights they have if a determination has been made the resident can no longer function independently.

S2052/A3132 had bipartisan backing.

“This will help provide residents in continuing care facilities with a proper voice to ensure that their needs and rights are protected,” said one of the co-sponsors, Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, (D-35), Paterson.  “More importantly, it will help improve their quality of life at a time when their health may be particularly fragile, making a crucial difference in their day-to-day living.”

Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, (R-11), Ocean, said that “The loss of control and independence is a very real and legitimate concern for many seniors as they struggle with the decision to enter a CCRC.

“This new law is a protective measure that ensures they will have an active voice in decisions that have a direct impact on their daily lives. It enumerates certain legal, medical and financial rights such as the right to privacy, the right to participate in their own medical decisions and the freedom to file complaints without fear of retaliation, which should help make such decisions easier.” 

‘Bill of rights’ for seniors in continuing care centers signed into law