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AARP New Jersey Applauds Governor Murphy for Enacting Bill to Protect LGBTQI and HIV Positive Residents in Long-Term Care Facilities

AARP New Jersey Applauds Governor Murphy for Enacting Bill to Protect LGBTQI and HIV Positive Residents in Long-Term Care Facilities

Statement from AARP New Jersey Advocacy Associate State Director Crystal McDonald

NEW BRUNSWICK (March 3, 2021) – “We applaud Governor Murphy for enacting a bill today that establishes certain requirements concerning the rights of LGBTQI and HIV positive residents of long-term care facilities.

“At AARP, we are committed to helping all older adults live their lives with dignity and honor, which includes those who are lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, queer, or intersex and others. An AARP report finds many LGBTQI adults are worried about how they will be treated in long-term care facilities and want specific LGBTQI services for older adults.

“By enacting S2545/A4288, long-term care facility staff are prohibited from taking certain actions based in whole or in part on a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, intersex status or HIV status. Some of the actions, include: denying admission to a long-term care facility, denying a request to share a room, repeatedly failing to use a resident’s chosen name, restricting a resident’s right to associate with other residents or visitors, denying a resident to dress in clothing permitted to any other resident, prohibiting a resident from using a restroom available to other residents of the same gender identity, and denying medical or nonmedical care that is appropriate to a resident’s organs and bodily needs.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed systemic problems in our long-term care system and has exacerbated disparities, including those among LGBTQI residents. Many of these disparities are rooted in discrimination against LGBTQI individuals, a lack of legal and social recognition, a reliance on chosen family, reduced access to inclusive services, and other social determinants of health and well-being.

“AARP encourages all to challenge archaic beliefs and spark new solutions to facilitate people’s choices. We commend the New Jersey legislature and Governor Murphy for passing this bill. S2545/A4288 will bring better care to long-term care and put more “home” into New Jersey’s nursing homes for all New Jerseyans.

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About AARP New Jersey 
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. AARP New Jersey educates and advocates on behalf of those 50 and older on issues that are important to them, their families and to all Garden State residents. The organization works to strengthen New Jersey communities with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/nj or follow @AARPNJ on social media. 

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