Increase Public Awareness, Early Detection And Diagnosis
Addressing Alzheimer's as a Public Health Crisis: Implement the Healthy Brain Initiative
We will work with the NJ Department of Health on the following: Early Detection and Diagnosis: Improving the quality of care for people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias starts with an early, documented diagnosis, including disclosure of the diagnosis. However, most people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia are not aware of their diagnosis. Evidence shows that only about half of people with Alzheimer's have been diagnosed. Among those seniors who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia, only 33 percent are even aware that they have the disease. Even when including caregivers, 45 percent of those diagnosed with Alzheimer's or their caregivers are aware of the diagnosis. Early detection and diagnosis gives families impacted by Alzheimer's the most time to plan, prepare and address the challenges of living with dementia. We will work with NJ Department of Health to educate health care providers on the importance of early detection and timely diagnosis of cognitive impairment, validated cognitive assessment tools, the value of a Medicare Annual Wellness visit for cognitive health, and the Medicare care planning billing code for individuals with cognitive impairment. Enhancing Public Awareness of Early Warning Signs and Value of Early Detection and Diagnosis: Promoting the early detection of disease, disability and disorders is a core service of public health. Early detection allows for the best opportunity to receive better medical care, enhance health outcomes, plan for future needs and secure medical desires and wishes. Alzheimer's is no different - even without a way to cure or slow the progression of Alzheimer's, early detection allows individuals and their caregivers greater access to treatments and support services, as well as the opportunity to enroll in clinical trials. With early detection, people living with dementia can also be involved in their own care when cognition is least affected, including dictating their medical wishes and financial plans, as well as choosing their medical team providers. We aim to work with the NJ Department of Health to conduct culturally-appropriate public health campaigns among the public to increase understanding and awareness of early warning signs of Alzheimer's and other dementias and the value of early detection and diagnosis. Brain Health and Reducing Risk of Cognitive Decline: With a growing cohort of older adults who are at risk for Alzheimer's and other dementias because they are aging, there is a great need for public health to address cognition in health promotion efforts. Research is still evolving, but evidence is strong that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline, promote brain health and protect cognition by adopting certain healthy behaviors. We aim to work with the NJ Department of Health to incorporate messages on brain health, including how to reduce the risk of cognitive decline, in existing, relevant public health campaigns, particularly among diverse communities who are at greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Build a Dementia-Capable Workforce
Building a Dementia Capable Workforce: Training for Adult Protective Services Workers
Adult protective services workers frequently interact with individuals who have dementia in a variety of settings and are among the first to observe instances of abuse and neglect. Yet most adult protective services workers receive little or no formal training to prepare them for the unique physical, behavioral and communications challenges related to people with dementia. Training improvements for adult protective services workers will help reduce elder abuse and neglect as well as increase the rate of reporting. We will work with the NJ Department of Human Services to enact a regulatory change that will require training of adult protective services (APS) workers regarding the recognition of individuals with cognitive impairment, effective intervention in cases involving the abuse and exploitation of individuals who are cognitively impaired and securing the safety of abused and exploited individuals with dementia.
Advance Alzheimer's Policy
Requiring Hospital Records to Notate Dementia Diagnosis
We will work with members of NJ Assembly to ask for passage of A2365. This bill requires, under certain circumstances, that a notation be prominently displayed in a patient’s medical record indicating that the patient is at increased risk of confusion, agitation, behavioral problems, and wandering due to a dementia related disorder. The notation is to be made in the patient’s medical record, upon the request of the patient’s caregiver, at the time the patient is admitted to the hospital or the hospital emergency department, or at the time that the patient is examined by a health care professional. A notation made pursuant to the bill is also to be included by the hospital on the patient’s universal transfer form, and, where practicable, is to be additionally communicated electronically to any licensed health care facility to which the patient may be admitted upon discharge by the hospital.
New Jersey State Plan Overview
In June 2011, the New Jersey Alzheimer's Disease Study Commission was established with the enactment of Senate Bill 125 to study the current and future impact and incidence of Alzheimer's disease within the state. The Commission was tasked with making recommendations for improving, expanding, and improving services within the state to meet the needs of those affected by Alzheimer's and included representatives from state agencies, direct service providers, long-term care providers, community organizations, and the faith communities as well as state legislators, caregivers, and those living with the disease. The New Jersey Alzheimer's Disease Study Commission Report was published in August 2016.
New Jersey State Advocacy Day
March 21, 2019
Join the Alzheimer's Association in Trenton on March 21st for our State Advocacy Day, and help us turn the NJ State House purple! Learn more about our state policy priorities, network with fellow advocates and meet with elected officials to communicate the needs of New Jerseyans impacted by Alzheimer's.
2020 Advocacy Forum
March 22-24, 2020 alz.org/forum
As an Alzheimer's advocate, you've worked to advance critical public policy, making a difference in the lives of all those impacted by Alzheimer's. Together we've achieved great increases in federal Alzheimer's research funding and secured critical advances in care and support. But we can't take our successes for granted — we need to keep the pressure on.
Join us in Washington for an inspiring three-day event filled with networking, training and education.
Be part of the movement that's making a difference in the fight against Alzheimer's.
Sign Up to Learn More About Advocacy Opportunities in New Jersey
State Affairs Contact Katie Macklin | 2153999204 | [email protected]
Enter your address here to see your elected officials' positions on Alzheimer's and ways you can contact them to support the Alzheimer's community.
Number of People Aged 65 and Older With Alzheimer's by Age
Percentage change from 2019
Medicaid costs of caring for people with Alzheimer's (2019)
change in costs from 2019 to 2025
per capita Medicare spending on people with dementia (in 2018 dollars)
of people in hospice have a primary diagnosis of dementia
of people in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia
of emergency department visits per 1,000 people with dementia
dementia patient hospital readmission rate
Number of Caregivers
Total Hours of Unpaid Care
Total Value of Unpaid Care
Higher Health Costs of Caregivers
|6th||leading cause of death in New Jersey|
For more information, view the 2019 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report at alz.org/facts.
Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, and as many as 14 million will have the disease in 2050. The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias is estimated to total $290 billion in 2019, increasing to $1.1 trillion (in today's dollars) by mid-century. Nearly one in every three seniors who dies each year has Alzheimer's or another dementia.