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Why New Jersey Assisted Living Facilities Need Tougher Standards

Why New Jersey Assisted Living Facilities Need Tougher Standards

Did you know: Regulations concerning New Jersey nursing homes differ from the regulations concerning New Jersey assisted living facilities?

These discrepancies are being brought to light after the tragic case of a woman at Morristown Memorial Hospital. A resident at this New Jersey assisted living facility, suffered abuse seven separate times before the injuries were finally reported.

Now, the victim’s family is urging New Jersey lawmakers to take action in increasing the standards and regulations at assisted living facilities in the state.

A Law to Increase Standards in Assisted Living Residences

Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, who sits on the Assembly’s Health and Senior Services Committee, is working with the victim’s family to introduce what they are calling “Alice’s Law.”

This new law would hold assisted living facilities in New Jersey to the same legal standards as New Jersey nursing homes. According to Newsworks, this bill “will create a statutory cause of action for certain harms suffered by an assisted living resident.”

If passed, this law will allow residents or their families the ability to sue assisted living facilities if the resident is hurt and there is a clear lack of responsibility on the part of the facility.

Why is there a difference in standards at nursing home facilities?

There is a difference in regulations between full-fledged nursing homes and assisted living facilities because, for the most part, nursing homes receive a majority of their funding from Medicare and Medicaid. As a result, nursing homes are regulated at both the state and federal level.

Assisted living facilities, on the other hand, are not funded in the same way. Generally, these facilities are funded privately by the residents in their care.

Moreover, these facilities are often part of larger corporations that are based out of state, and yet regulations such as the Nursing Home Reform Act still do not apply to the facilities.

This issue is augmented by the fact that the standards that are in place are not always enforced. New Jersey does have regulations to establish a standard of care in assisted living residences (NJAC 8:36), but there is a clear need to implement higher standards and ensure that they are enforced in assisted living facilities.

DeCroce is hoping to see the bill pass in the next year.

Identifying Nursing Home Abuse

Although regulations and standards may be in place, it is important that everyone is aware of the signs of nursing home abuse.

If you have a family member or loved one in an assisted living facility or nursing home in New Jersey, we would encourage you to educate yourself on the types of nursing home abuse.

Here at D|K|R|Y, we believe everyone deserves to be treated with respect. That is why we fight for the rights of nursing home victims and their families.

If you suspect any kind of negligence in a New Jersey nursing home or assisted living facility, we are here to help. You can call us directly at 856-489-1515 to discuss in detail, and possibly arrange an appointment at one of our New Jersey or Philadelphia locations.