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Codey/Cunningham Bill To Establish Assisted Living Facility & Comprehensive Personal Care Home Resident Rights Clears Senate

A view of the Senate Chambers from the 2010-2011 Senate Reorganization.

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senators Richard J. Codey (D-Essex) and Sandra Bolden Cunningham (D-Hudson) that would establish assisted living facility and comprehensive personal care home resident rights has been approved by the full Senate.

“More seniors today are living in settings other than nursing homes and it is important that we ensure they are given complete protection and rights under the law,” said Codey. “Far too many of these individuals become victims because they do not know their rights, or none have been established for them. This legislation will change that and afford them the protection they deserve.”

“Statistics show that millions of Americans over age 65 have been injured, exploited or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended for care or protection. That is simply unacceptable. It is time that all of our seniors are treated with the respect and protection under the law that they deserve,” said Cunningham.

The bill, S-2458, would require assisted living facilities and comprehensive personal care homes to distribute a statement of resident rights to each resident, and post it in a conspicuous, public place in the facility. Additionally, the bill would require providers to inform each resident, the resident’s family member, and the resident’s legally appointed guardian of the resident’s rights, provide explanations if needed, and ensure that each resident, or the resident’s legally appointed guardian, as applicable, signs a copy of statement of rights.

The bill would also establish various other rights for every resident of an assisted living facility or comprehensive personal care home that is licensed in the State. These include: receiving personalized services and care in accordance with the resident’s individualized general service or health service plan; receive a level of care and services that addresses the resident’s changing physical and psychosocial status; have or not to have families’ and friends’ participation in resident service planning and implementation; receive pain management as needed, in accordance with Department of Health and Senior Service regulations; and receive written documentation that fee increases based on a higher level of care are based on reassessment of the resident and in accordance with department regulations.

The legislation cleared the Senate yesterday by a vote of 40-0. It now moves to the Assembly for consideration.

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