By Colleen Diskin The Record
A bill that toughens oversight of small group homes that care for elderly residents with dementia is awaiting action from Governor Christie, but a decision could still be months away.
Christie has not publicly voiced an opinion on the measure, which would transfer regulatory authority for the state's 24 licensed dementia-care group homes to the state Department of Health.
Under legislative rules, the governor could have months to decide, and a staff member said this week it was still under review. But a veteran Republican lawmaker said Wednesday that the Christie-led health department opposes such a transfer and that the governor is likely to veto the bill.Read more
The Record Editorial Staff
ANYONE WHO has a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer's should be able to have the peace of mind that the person is receiving the best-quality care available, 24 hours a day, and that every safety precaution regarding that care is being taken. Making those concerns less worrisome, and making the care for those suffering these ailments a top priority, is the essence of legislation passed with bipartisan support in the Assembly and state Senate. Governor Christie should sign it into law.
The focus of the bill concerns group homes that offer New Jersey families an alternative to institutional, long-term care centers for people with dementia or Alzheimer's. As the state's population continues to age, there is little doubt that the need for such homes will only increase. The legislation sitting on Christie's desk simply seeks to make sure those homes are properly regulated and adequately staffed, and are providing the quality of care they advertise.Read more