New state law to mandate nursing homes use pressure-relief mattresses to fight pressure ulcers

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The New Jersey Legislature has unanimously passed a bill that would require nursing home operators to swap out regular mattresses with pressure-relief mattresses within three years. Operators would have to buy the more costly mattresses when replacing older ones starting a year from the bill's enactment.

“While pressure redistribution mattresses may cost more up front than the standard spring mattresses, we cannot put a price on the continued health and wellness of our state's most vulnerable senior citizens,” said bill co-sponsor Sen. Bob Gordon (D-Bergen). “While these new mattresses alone won't make bed sores an ailment of the past, they will greatly reduce the incidence of bed sores, and make their treatment much easier on the dedicated nursing home staff.”

Providers have been strongly involved in creating and promoting the bill, said a top official with the Health Care Association of New Jersey.