State of New Jersey
Executive Order #136

Governor James E. McGreevey

WHEREAS, New Jersey is a state where independence, dignity and choice is fostered to support residents as they age; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey must prepare to meet the individual and societal needs of our adult population and their families as they grow older; and

WHEREAS, government, for too long, has denied older adults the right to choose where they receive services if public sector funding is paying for the needed care; and

WHEREAS, policy changes are essential to support an expanding elderly population that desires to stay at home with supports in the caring community of New Jersey versus going into a nursing home; and

WHEREAS, caregiving by unpaid family or friends has become an important issue because so many New Jerseyans are finding themselves or will find themselves in the role of caregiver for a loved one; and

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey must support innovative and cost-effective initiatives for services and programs that are responsive to the unique needs of a growing corps of volunteer caregivers and a diminishing workforce of paid caregivers; and

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey encourages a society free of ageism and the stereotyping and discrimination against people because they are old, specifically by protecting older adults' right to work, a decent retirement, protective services when vulnerable and end-of-life care with dignity; and

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey recognizes that older adults are respected members of the community and provide an invaluable resource of social, cultural, historic and spiritual enrichment and leadership; and

WHEREAS, in Executive Order No. 100 (2004), I called upon the Department of Health and Senior Services to develop a home and community health care "bill of rights" to support New Jersey's aging population;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES E. McGREEVEY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

  1. The State of New Jersey hereby recognizes a Bill of Rights and Responsibilities to support the independence, dignity and choice of citizens as they age. This Bill of Rights and Responsibilities safeguards the following:

    1. freedom, independence and individual initiative in planning and managing their own lives; and

    2. full participation in the planning and operation of community-based services and programs for their benefit; and

    3. access to viable, affordable and cost-effective services and programs that are molded by the principles of strengthening independence, affirming dignity and expanding choice; and

    4. the ability to remain in their communities and in their homes with the support of community-based, long-term care services; and

    5. a system where long-term care needs are met, regardless of income, in a culturally and linguistically sensitive way as they change over time; and

    6. access to public and private services, allowing aging in place where possible, and the ability to transition between the various forms of long-term care with minimal disruption and maximum attention to quality of life; and

    7. an opportunity to choose a healthy lifestyle, and be supported in this choice by effective, culturally appropriate programs designed to foster health and wellness without regard to economic status; and

    8. support for family members and other persons providing voluntary care, known as caregiving, to older individuals needing long-term care services; and

    9. a community where greater choice, control and flexibility are built into a progressive system of assistance for older and disabled individuals, families, friends and neighbors; and

    10. protection against abuse, neglect and exploitation in the community and in health care settings; and

    11. consumer empowerment to make informed quality of life decisions; and

    12. a long-term care system that is visible, trusted and easy to access for both information and assistance by all communities in New Jersey.

  2. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 27th day
of September in the Year of Our Lord, Two
Thousand and Four, and of the Independence
of the United States, the Two Hundred and Twenty-Ninth.

/s/ James E. McGreevey


/s/ Mark J. Fleming
Deputy Chief Counsel to the Governor