Bipartisan Bill to Create Long-Term Care Advocate and Educational Training Program Clears Assembly Panel

To ensure residents of long-term care facilities receive the highest quality of care, the Assembly Aging and Senior Services Committee on Thursday advanced bipartisan legislation (A-4484) to require the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman to develop an 18-month long-term care advocacy and educational training program to be offered to employees or volunteers of the ombudsman, long-term care advocates, employees and residents of long-term care facilities and their families.

The program would provide training on the rights of residents of long-term care facilities; fostering choice and independence among residents; identifying and reporting abuse, neglect, or exploitation of residents; long-term care facility ownership; and federal guidelines, laws and regulations that pertain to long-term care centers, including on the inspection of facilities.

Sponsors of the bill, Assembly Democrats Angela McKnight (D-Hudson), James Kennedy (D-Middlesex, Somerset, Union) and Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson) and Assembly Republican DiAnne Gove (D-Atlantic, Burlington, Ocean) released the following joint statement:

“Implementing meaningful change often begins with education and awareness. To bring about much-needed reforms in our long-term care facilities, we must empower the people on the front lines, from employees to advocates to families of residents. With comprehensive training, they will be able to more easily identify and respond to troubling situations and ensure long-term care residents receive the highest quality of care. We must do all we can to protect and advocate for our most vulnerable.”