Save Our Seniors
Tragically, more than 6,900 residents and staff at New Jersey's nursing homes and long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19. That’s nearly half of all coronavirus related deaths in the state.
It is a tragedy that should never have happened and one that our state must ensure never happens again. For months, elected officials have known that nursing homes are a hotbed for the virus – yet basic precautions to stem the loss of life and protect residents and staff are still not in place.
This is an outrage and a disgrace. Residents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities remain in grave danger.
These almost 7,000 (and rising) deaths are not statistics to be ignored or explained away. They are our mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings, friends and spouses with families who love them.
AARP New Jersey is fighting to protect nursing home residents against sickness, neglect, and isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, while also educating family caregivers on how to advocate for their loved ones.
The Time for Action is Now!
We must ensure better care in long-term care and put more “nursing” and more “home” into nursing homes. Systemic problems within our long-term care system existed long before the pandemic and have been heartbreakingly exacerbated by COVID-19. Not only must New Jersey respond to the immediate needs of this crisis, we must tackle meaningful structural reforms to our long-term care system. With bold and significant change, New Jersey can move to the forefront of our nation in ensuring the safety and dignity for everyone in our state, including the most fragile among us.
AARP New Jersey is Fighting For:
- Mandatory, regular, ongoing testing and adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for residents and staff.
- Minimum staff to resident ratios. Safe and quality long-term care does not exist without adequate numbers of well-trained staff. New Jersey must establish minimum staffing to resident ratios for RNs, LPNs and CNAs that are aligned with different needs of nursing home residents, such as residents with dementia and on-site infection control specialists.
- Ending social isolation. New Jersey must enact measures that affirm and facilitate a resident’s right to communicate with their loved ones through virtual visitation during times of lock down. Even as some nursing homes begin allowing in-person visits, virtual visitation must be an option for communication between families and residents.
- Improved transparency. Daily, public reporting on the number of days individual facilities have remained infection free; analysis and action to address disparities; mandatory communication with families; and, funding accountability.
- Accountability. No sweeping immunity for long-term care facilities related to COVID-19.