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McKnight Bill Would Protect Elderly and Disabled Individuals Utilizing At-Home Care Services from Abuse

Trenton – To protect elderly and disabled populations from neglect, exploitation, and abuse, the Senate Commerce Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Angela V. McKnight that would suspend a Homemaker-Home Health Aides’ certification if they are charged with or accused of abuse, neglect, or violence with credible evidence against them.

“The vast majority of homemaker-home health aides are responsible healthcare professionals who care deeply for their patients,” said Senator McKnight (D-Hudson). “Despite this, there are still instances of abuse against vulnerable populations who seek at-home assistance. Withholding certification from any individual facing accusations of abuse will help maintain the integrity of the homemaker-home health aide profession and protect vulnerable populations from harm.” 

The bill, S-1814, requires the New Jersey Board of Nursing to defer or withhold homemaker-home health aide certification approval from any applicant who has been charged or had a complaint filed against them by a law enforcement agency that alleges abuse, neglect, or violence towards a patient. 

Certification would also be deferred or withheld from an applicant if the Board receives credible evidence supporting an allegation of abuse, neglect, or violence by the applicant against a patient. 

According to the US Department of Justice, at least 1 in 10 adults age 65 or older will experience some form of elder abuse in a given year. 

The bill cleared the committee in a 5-0 vote.