New Jersey moves to help elderly and disabled

New Jersey Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino on Tuesday announced the expansion of a hidden-camera loan program, to make it available not just in private homes, but also in nursing homes and other institutional settings.

The Safe Care Cam program of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, started in December to help people who suspected that their loved ones were being mistreated or neglected, allows state residents to borrow free micro-surveillance equipment to keep an eye on loved ones. The state is not disclosing how many of the cameras it purchased or how many are in use.

“Requests for the equipment have been steady and the feedback from participants has been positive,” the state said.

In addition, the Division of Consumer Affairs eliminated conditional certifications for certified homemaker-home health aides, who work under the supervision of registered nurses to provide at-home care for the elderly, sick, or disabled. Under the conditional certification, home-health aides were allowed to work for up to 120 days pending the results of their criminal background checks. Now, aides must be fully vetted before starting work.

In the last decade, the number of aides certified to work in New Jersey more than doubled from 26,618 to 58,700, the state said. The number of aides facing disciplinary actions from the State Board of Nursing climbed to 307 last year from 207 in 2015 and 140 in 2014, officials said.

For information on borrowing a camera, call (973) 504-6375 and leave a message.