They feed, bathe and comfort residents of long-term care facilities, but the thousands of certified nursing aides who work in New Jersey’s nursing homes for little pay have said for years that their workload is often too much to handle.
On Friday, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill that will require operators beginning in early 2021 to increase the number of aides in each facility and for the first time set a ratio for the number of residents an aide is asked to handle.
The legislation had been vigorously blocked by industry lobbyists and some lawmakers for five years, but there was a renewed urgency to get the bill passed after the coronavirus pandemic claimed the lives of an estimated 7,400 long-term care residents in New Jersey — more than any other state based on population size.
Compliance will cost the industry $30 million or $5 a day per resident,