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If you are caring for a loved one who has a memory-related disease such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, you may be looking into memory care communities. If this is the case, you will need to also evaluate online information regarding memory care regulations in the state of New Jersey. This will help you better understand what the community should provide and what makes a high-quality community.

Ensuring that your loved one gets the highest standard of care is a top priority, and to do this, you want to thoroughly research your options. Keep reading to find out how to understand online information about regulations for New Jersey memory care.

How Care is Regulated

Senior care is a very broad term that encompasses anything from assisted living to memory care to independent living. In New Jersey, senior care is regulated and licensed, ensuring that each community is following the requirements to provide quality care for the residents.

Communities that provide Alzheimer’s and dementia care have specific admission and discharge guidelines. These guidelines help to protect residents to ensure they get the care they need once they are in the community. 

New Jersey memory care communities also have to provide written plans regarding activities, special procedures, and safety policies for the residents. These written plans can be requested at any time by the resident, staff, family members, or the public.

The Division of Health Facilities Evaluation and Licensing also performs unannounced inspections of licensed communities every two years.

The Scope of Care

Every state has its own regulations when it comes to any kind of senior care. These regulations are there to protect residents and make sure they get the care they require. When it comes to memory care, residents often have very specific needs, so you want to make sure the community is following these regulations.

New Jersey requires memory care communities to provide personal and health-related services for all residents. This includes providing safe housing as well as having a coordinated staff that provides supportive services 24 hours a day. Here are some examples of the care these kinds of communities should provide:

  • Transportation
  • Social work services
  • Pharmacy services
  • Assistance with personal care
  • Daily nutritional meals
  • Healthcare services
  • Recreational and social activities
  • Medication management
  • Supervision and assistance

Admission Requirements

Another very important aspect of New Jersey regulations for memory care is the admission requirements. Two assessments are usually required before admission, which includes determining medical needs and an evaluation by a registered nurse.

Assessments are vital for admission since they determine how much care and the type of care the resident requires. This information will help the memory care community better understand if they are equipped to provide what the resident needs. Depending on the resources the community has, it may not be able to admit certain seniors.

Staffing Requirements

New Jersey also provides highly regulated staffing requirements for memory care communities. This usually includes providing specific staffing guidelines depending on the number of residents in the community. These communities also need to have an RN available on the premises or available by phone, as well as additional staff who are available on site 24 hours a day.

Direct care staff members are required to have ongoing training every 2 to 3 years, depending on the role they fill.

Care Plans

Before a care plan can be created, memory care communities must assess each resident, which can include information such as nursing requirements, the resident's preferences, and their usual routines. Once admitted, the resident will receive another assessment by the on-site RN to determine their specific care plan. 

New Jersey requires that the care plan be developed within 14 days after admission so that residents can start to get the care they need as soon as possible. Residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia require a special assessment to determine their functional and cognitive abilities.

The completed care plan must be reviewed quarterly so that it can be revised as needed if the resident has experienced physical or cognitive changes.

Medication Management

States are required to have very specific rules around anything that involves the administration of medication. These regulations help to ensure residents get their medication safely and ethically.

If residents self-administer medications, there must be staff provided who can provide supervision and assistance. To do this, they will need to have received training from a licensed pharmacist or the community's RN.

If medication administration is needed, the community will need to provide trained staff who can do this. They will need to complete a medication aide course, pass an exam to become certified, and be supervised by an RN. The community must also use a unit dose drug distribution system for delegating medication.

Choosing a New Jersey Memory Care Community

If you are no longer able to provide the care your loved one needs, a memory care community in New Jersey might be the next best option. However, you will need to make sure you do your research to find a high-quality community that follows the standards of care in New Jersey. This includes researching statewide regulations to find a community that is safe and ethical.

One of the best ways to make sure a community is following regulations is to do research online to see what the website says. You can also directly contact the community at (973) 355-7170 if you have any additional questions or can’t find the information you need. It is also a good idea to schedule a tour so you can see the community for yourself.

Are you ready to help your loved one make the transition to a memory care community? Check out The Caregivers Complete Guide to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care we provide at Arbor Terrace Roseland to get started.

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The Arbor Company

About the Author: The Arbor Company

Through a commitment to developing an outstanding and tenured staff, The Arbor Company maintains a progressive clinical and competitive edge that embraces both resident and family needs.

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