Throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, visitation to NJ long-term care facilities has been severely restricted. The NJ Department of Health has issued guidance that allows LTC residents to have limited visitation in very specific circumstances. In addition, the NJ DOH has issued visitation guidance for the holiday season. General visitation and testing guidance was issued on October 20, 2020. (See page 22.) Holiday visitation guidance was issued on November 16, 2020. If If you have questions or concerns about visiting long-term care facilities, contact the NJ LTCO.
The New Jersey Long Term Care Ombudsman is part of a national resident-focused, person-centered advocacy program, authorized by the federal Older American’s Act.
The NJLTCO advocates for residents of long-term care facilities who are over the age of 60 by investigating and resolving complaints made by or on behalf of those residents.Under federal law and state law, the Ombudsman’s office:
Complaints received by the Ombudsman’s Office are reviewed by a supervisor and assigned to a Field Investigator/Advocate.
NOTE: The NJLTCO is not a first response agency. Calls that require an immediate response because a resident might be in immediate danger are referred to local police or the caller is urged to call 911.
Once a case is opened and assigned, the Investigator/Advocate makes an unannounced visit to the facility, talks to the resident to obtain consent to proceed, conducts a complete review of the facts, obtains records and interviews staff and other relevant witnesses.
The primary function of the investigation is to resolve the problem to the satisfaction of the resident and to ensure that the resident is safe and that the resident's rights and dignity are being upheld.
If the Investigator/Advocate verifies or suspects that the resident has been the victim of abuse, neglect or exploitation, the Investigator/Advocate will collect the facts, and refer his/her findings to a regulatory or law enforcement entity for possible further action.
Here are examples of the types of complaints commonly investigated by the NJLTCO:
The NJLTCO will accept complaints from or regarding residents of the following long-term care facilities: