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New Jersey Long-Term Care Ombudsman

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Community Engagement

womanThe Community Engagement Program began in spring of 2023. It is part of a longstanding plan of the Ombudsman to integrate the voices of those most impacted (residents and family members/care partners) into the structure of the LTCO so that they are at the center of the work that we do. The core of this work is to support residents and families in (1) building community and connection, (2) address individual issues (e.g., through connection with SIP and investigators), and (3) respond to systems change both as originators/leaders of transformational change and as supporters of transformational change initiated by others.

As part of the underlying philosophy to center those most impacted, the creation of the this program is being done in collaboration with residents and family members/care partners. In other words, we do not create it and then invite residents and family members in. Rather we create it together, building belonging as we go, and we create a structure that allows for flexibility and adaptability so that people can engage in a variety of ways and we can respond to an ever-changing environment.

One of our first projects is collecting information about resident and family councils in nursing homes via a multi-question survey. Federal regulations require that residents have the right to form and hold regular resident council meetings, how they are operated and how involved facilities are varies widely throughout the state. Our goal is to collect information about resident councils around the state to see how they are run, to connect residents with each other, and support residents build or improve their councils so that they fit their needs. Please let us know if you are interested in completing a Resident Council Survey or Family Council Survey for your facility.

We are also partnering with NJ-based grassroots, volunteer-led FACE-NJ ( FACE-NJ (Family Advocate Care Experience-New Jersey) emerged out of the covid-19 pandemic and the strict limitations to visitations of their loved ones in long-term care facilities. As the limitations on visitations have eased, FACE-NJ is expanding its mission from visitation to ensuring the highest quality of life for residents of long-term care facilities in New Jersey. It is a free online community that allows families to directly connect with other family members so that they may be the best advocate and care partner that they can be for their loved ones.

For more information or if you are interested in getting involved, call the Community Engagement Program at 1-609-690-4740 or email

Last Updated: Friday, 08/04/23