Governor Christie has signed Peggy’s Law, legislation sponsored by Senate Republicans Jim Holzapfel and Diane Allen to protect senior citizens in assisted living facilities from abuse.
Sens. Jim Holzapfel and Diane Allen’s “Peggy’s Law” will protect seniors living in assisted living facilities from abuse. The law is named for a 93-year-old woman from Brick, New Jersey. (SenateNJ)
“When families put their loved ones in the care of a nursing home or other assisted living facility, they expect that they’ll be treated properly and with respect,” Senator Holzapfel (R-Ocean) said. “If an employee of one of these homes even has the slightest suspicion that something might be awry, it should be their duty to report it.”
Peggy’s Law (S-1219) is named after Peggy Marzolla, a 93-year-old Brick woman was taken to the hospital after her nursing home said she slipped on some powder. Marzolla’s daughter didn’t believe this explanation and later started a campaign to stiffen state laws against elder abuse.
The law requires any caretaker, social worker, physician, nurse or other staff member of a care facility who has reasonable cause to suspect that an elderly person is being abused or exploited, they must report it to local law enforcement. It also requires them to report such incidents to the Ombudsman of the Institutionalized Elderly within certain periods of time depending on the kind of abuse.
“Employees have to be the first line of defense against abuse,” Senator Allen (R-Burlington) said. “They see their residents every day, and they will know when something isn’t right. The families of these seniors have always counted on the employees to do the right thing. Now the State of New Jersey demands it.”