TOTOWA/MARLTON, N.J. – From statewide networks of families living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias engaging local, state and federal elected officials, to Alzheimer’s Ambassadors leading the advocacy movement through relationships with policymakers, the Alzheimer’s Association Greater New Jersey Chapter (AAGNJ) is encouraging people across New Jersey to get involved with the fight against Alzheimer’s. The Greater New Jersey Chapter offers an array of advocacy opportunities and informational/educational resources to the 170,000 people living with dementia, their caregivers and families residing throughout 14 of New Jersey’s counties.
Alzheimer’s Association Greater New Jersey Chapter is not and has never been affiliated with any other in-state organization bearing the terms Alzheimer’s or New Jersey. The Greater New Jersey Chapter is the local arm of the national nonprofit organization, with offices in Totowa and Marlton, NJ. Since 1980, the chapter has been seamlessly serving constituents in Central, Northern and Southern New Jersey who are affected by Alzheimer’s or any form of dementia. The Greater New Jersey Chapter has never ceased operating on behalf of those affected by or serving those with Alzheimer’s.
“In addition to vital care, support and educational programming, the Greater New Jersey Chapter focuses on public policy issues and critical research funding for all,” said Robyn Kohn, M.A., AAGNJ manager, programs. “As the experts in leading the fight to end Alzheimer’s, at the Alzheimer’s Association Greater New Jersey we see firsthand that Alzheimer’s is one of the most critical public health issues of our time. For this reason, we are committed to mobilizing others to become advocates and make Alzheimer’s a national priority.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Association Greater New Jersey Chapter, Alzheimer’s is the most costly disease in the United States. With one in three seniors having Alzheimer’s or some of form of dementia at the time of their death, the current cost to taxpayers is $20 million hourly. “This is only expected to rise exponentially – quadruple in fact – to over $3 trillion over the next generation,” added Kohn.
The chapter is currently focused on several different legislative matters and will be hosting information and resource tables at Goldfinch Square in Trenton during the week of March 12. Other areas of concentration include advancing the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (S. 693 /H.R. 1676), which would ensure an adequate, well-trained palliative care workforce, and proposing updates to fill gaps in the New Jersey Alzheimer’s Disease Study Commission Report issued in August 2016.
In addition, the Greater New Jersey Chapter recently collaborated with Englewood Hospital and Medical Center to host “Coffee With Congress” with U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (9th District) and families and caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
“Engaging in conversation with our federal representatives about the impact of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia-related disorders and high unmet needs is an instrumental part of raising awareness of federal and state priorities,” said Kohn. “It also is an opportunity to highlight research updates, our education programs and services like our 24/7 Helpline, and resources for all our families on the Alzheimer’s journey. We welcome all who wish to get involved at whatever level they are most comfortable.”
To learn more about the Alzheimer’s Association Greater New Jersey Chapter as well as Alzheimer’s and other dementia symptoms, education programs, philanthropic special events and advocacy opportunities, visit alz.org/nj or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.