To ensure transparent communication between veterans’ homes and other individuals responsible for the well-being of veterans in these facilities, a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats John Armato, Vincent Mazzeo and Herb Conaway would require the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) to ensure veterans’ memorial homes hold regular meetings with the guardians of the homes’ residents.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many families were unable to access information about their loved ones residing in New Jersey’s veterans’ homes. As part of the Legislature’s continued efforts to improve operations in these facilities, the bill (A-5850) would require each veterans’ memorial home run by DMVA to hold quarterly town hall meetings with the legal guardians of their residents.
The meetings would be permitted to take place in-person or remotely via electronic means.
Legal guardians are family members or other individuals assigned to protect the interests of certain elderly or incapacitated individuals by making decisions on their behalf regarding the care and support they receive.
Upon the bill unanimously passing the full Assembly Thursday, Assembly sponsors Armato, Mazzeo (both D-Atlantic) and Conaway (D-Burlington) issued the following joint statement:
“We cannot allow a breakdown in communication between our veterans’ homes and those who help make decisions on behalf of the vulnerable residents in these facilities. Guardians, who are often family members of the veteran, need to know what is going on in these homes in order to make the best possible choices for the veteran in their charge. Requiring regular town hall meetings with every guardian will help keep them informed and allow them to express any concerns or suggestions they may have on behalf of the veterans in these homes.”
The bill now heads to the Senate.