State Senate Approves Elderly Care Patient “Bill of Rights”
New Jersey's seniors in Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) can expect empowerment in decisions affecting their lives, if a shore-sponsored bill now on the Governor's desk becomes law.
The measure pushed by state Senators Jennifer Beck (R-11) and Robert Singer (R-30) establishes a "Bill of Rights" for CCRC residents. The Senate followed the Assembly's lead in approving S2052 and A3132.
Among the provisions:
Residents gain access to their own medical records, take active roles in medical decisions, have the right to refuse treatments and determine their life-support choices in advance.
Residents may leave and return to their facilities at will, host guests for "reasonable" amounts of time, and be under no pressure to perform services within the communities. Circumstances under which residents would be forced to vacate units would be subject to restrictions.
Facility operators would be required to issue notice before changing services and fees, maintain records of complaints and issue them on request, and allow cancellation of continuing-care agreements within 30 days.