Karcher Resolution To Protect Residents At Continuing Care Facilities Clears Senate

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Ellen Karcher designed to urge Governor Jon Corzine to reactivate and add public members to the Continuing Care Advisory Council, which monitors and regulates nursing homes and other continuing care facilities, was unanimously approved today by the full Senate.

“As the baby boomers age, many of them will be looking for alternate housing and living arrangements in the coming years,” said Senator Karcher, D-Mercer and Monmouth. “Expanding the membership of the Council would allow us to gain a clear idea of the role of continued care and retirement communities here in New Jersey, and it would help keep the lines of communication open so that any issues would be promptly resolved.”

Senator Karcher’s resolution, SR-27, would if enacted, reactivate Continuing Care Advisory Council by appointing public members to serve on the board. First established in 1986, the council’s duties are to advise the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs on matters pertaining to the operation and regulation of continuing care and retirement facilities, to review legislation pertaining to such facilities, and to recommend any necessary changes.

The Council’s public membership would include: two administrators of continuing care facilities in New Jersey; a representative of the business community with management training; a certified public accountant; an attorney; three residents of continuing care/retirement communities; and one representative of the New Jersey Association of Non-Profit Homes for the Aging. Other members of the Council would include the Commissioners of the Departments of Community Affairs, Health and Senior Services and Banking and Insurance, and two members of the Senate and the General Assembly.

“The Council has not convened in over 10 years, and with the baby boomer generation aging, now is the time to examine and make any necessary changes to the way continuing care and retirement homes are regulated here in New Jersey,” Senator Karcher said.

This measure was unanimously approved by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on May 11.