(TRENTON) – Taking action to prepare New Jersey’s healthcare system to accommodate the significantly growing population of residents in need of Alzheimer’s and dementia care, the Assembly Aging and Senior Services Committee on Monday approved legislation to create a commission to evaluate the current care system.
The bill (A-4422) would establish an 11-member Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Long-Term Planning Commission, which would identify current shortcomings or opportunities to improve care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Their work would include studying the prevalence of Alzheimer’s in New Jersey; recommending best practices for healthcare providers, law enforcement and emergency responders who work with this population; and characterizing future workforce demands to recruit and retain qualified workers.
The commission would craft annual reports to improve the quality, consistency, and affordability of care for residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia in New Jersey.
The measure is sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), chair of the Senior Services Committee, Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson) and Daniel Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex). The sponsors released the following joint statement:
“An estimated 5.8 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, including about 190,000 in New Jersey. By 2025, that number is projected to rise to 210,000.
“As we prepare to face an unprecedented number of residents needing dementia care, we must evaluate our healthcare system to ensure we are equipped to meet the rising demand. Other commissions have studied this issue in the past, but the anticipated growing need for Alzheimer’s care warrants a permanent commission to annually assess our progress. We anxiously await the day we see a cure for this disease that impacts so many families, but until then, our healthcare system must be prepared to the deliver best quality care.”