Home Visits Help Change Minds in New Jersey

It’s legislative budget season, which means that NJ state legislators are in Trenton, making funding decisions that will impact home care recipients and caregivers. We are making sure that legislators understand the importance of home care in their communities and the best way to do this is with: legislative home visits!

Why home visits?

When home care recipients invite their legislators into their homes to learn about the daily realities of the care they receive, it can give a whole new perspective and become a powerful advocacy tool. Legislators get to see how their caregivers must attend to their personal and medical needs, how they use the medical equipment to keep them safe, and how this care allows the recipient to live independently with their families. We’ve often heard that home visits are like the missing piece to the puzzle in helping a lawmakers physically see how their decisions directly affect the medically vulnerable people living in their communities. Sometimes all it takes is to walk into someone’s home and get a glimpse at a life completely different than your own to understand.

Check out two recent NJ home visits that helped shape the hearts and minds of the decision-makers in Trenton!

Visit with NJ Senator Owen Henry

Recently, 41-year-old home care recipient Jamie Lynn White hosted a home visit with Senator Owen Henry at the Whites’ home in Manalapan, NJ. Senator Henry is one of New Jersey’s newest legislators, which made this a great opportunity to educate him on the value of home care.

He toured the Jamie’s room, spoke with Jamie’s mother and nurse, learned about the medical equipment and medications needed to safely help Jamie remain in her home, and learned how much more expensive her care would be for the State if Jamie had to be moved into a long-term care facility. The Senator visited the White family for over 1.5 hours and was visibly moved by the experience.

Visit with NJ Assemblywoman Carol Murphy

Ford Lambert and his parents Ashley and Adam Lambert recently opened their Medford, NJ home to Assemblywoman Carol Murphy. Ford was born premature and has Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia and  subglottic stenosis. His nursing services have enabled him to catch up with most of his developmental milestones except for eating and talking. He has even completed step 1 of his airway reconstruction!

This home visit allowed Asw. Murphy to see home care in action. During the visit, Ford’s nurse Marjorie had to clean his trach and suction his airway multiple times due to Ford’s recent bout with Pneumonia. Parents Ashley and Adam shared many of their challenges with Asw. Murphy, and talked about the importance of increased in-home nursing funding home care providers can attract nurses to the home care workforce with competitive wages.

Home visits are an important way of showing legislators the impact of home care in their communities. Without such advocacy from advocates, home care can often seem like just a budget-line item in Trenton and other state capitals. Thank you to the advocates who opening their homes — your advocacy truly gives a voice to the many home care recipients that don’t have one!

Learn more about home visits and how you can get involved by emailing us at [email protected]