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New Jersey Long-Term Care Ombudsman

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Resident Newsletters

Beacon Newsletter

June 2021

More Visitation Updates! (Activities, Dining, etc.)

The NJ Department of Health again updated its visitation guidance on May 12th to allow for greater freedom in long-term care facilities. Here are some of the changes:

  • Communal dining and group activities should resume. Fully vaccinated residents no longer have to wear masks or practice social distancing when gathering or eating with other vaccinated residents. Unvaccinated residents, however, must still wear masks (except when eating) and practice social distancing during communal activities. If one person is unvaccinated in any communal area, ALL persons must wear a well-fitting mask except when eating.
  • Vaccinated residents can now have close physical contact without masks with vaccinated visitors. Vaccinated residents living in private rooms can now have unvaccinated visitors in their room, but both must still wear masks.
  • Outside contractors, including hair dressers and barbers, may now come in to provide needed resident services.
  • Volunteers, including musicians and entertainers, are now also allowed to enter to visit and/or assist residents.

If the long-term care facility identifies a positive case and is performing outbreak testing, the ability of outside contractors and volunteers to enter the building or particular units could be paused temporarily until that testing is completed. In any case, all outside contractors and visitors must wear well-fitting masks.

If your facility is still not allowing communal dining, communal activities, outside contractors like hair dressers, or volunteers to enter the facility, please contact us so we can advocate for you – 877-582-6995.

June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Abuse of any form against older people is a crime. They deserve more respect and care in society. Any abuse against them can leave long-term physiological effect along with severe physical injuries. This is a global social issue that needs to be addressed with immediate effect. It is about protecting the social and human rights of older people in society. Every older adult deserves respect for their contribution to making the younger generation what they are today. If you suspect abuse of a long-term care resident, please call our office at 1-877-582-6995.

Consumer Voice Seeks Resident Artwork/Poetry/Writing, etc. for 'Resident Voice Challenge'

Leading up to Resident Rights Month in October of each year, the National Consumer Voice poses a "Resident Voice Challenge", calling on long-term care residents to share their experiences via art, poetry, video, writing, etc.. The theme for 2021 is "Reclaiming My Rights, My Home, My Life!" All residents are welcome to submit one or more entries. For art pieces, entries should focus on the meaning of "home" in long-term care (What does "home" mean to you, How do you make where you live feel more like home?). Alternately, residents can submit essays, poetry, or video responding to any of the following questions: What did you miss most during the pandemic? What is your life like now as a long-term care resident? What are you looking forward to most in the next year (doing an activity, seeing a loved one, etc.)? What does home mean to you? How do you make where you live feel like home? What can your facility staff do to help make your residence a home? You can find more information on the Consumer Voice website or ask the social worker or activities director to print the information for you: We are calling on activities professionals in all LTC facilities to help interested residents complete and submit projects this year.

Last Updated: Friday, 05/28/21