Alzheimer’s is the progressive mental deterioration that can occur in middle or old age, due to generalized degeneration of the brain. It is the most common cause of premature senility. When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the individual’s entire circle of family, friends, and neighbors can feel the difficulties—particularly the person’s caregiver.
Caregivers play a pivotal role in the journey one faces after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. They often work day and night to care for their loved ones, to ensure the highest quality of life until the last moments, often sacrificing various aspects of their own lives. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that more than 516 million hours of unpaid work are put in by caregivers throughout the state of New Jersey annually who care for individuals with Alzheimer’s.
According to the New Jersey Alzheimer’s Disease Study Commission, nearly 100,000 New Jersey residents over 65 are dealing with a cognitive concern; additionally, 21% of patients on hospice care struggle with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
Though the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things, it has not slowed down Alzheimer’s diagnoses, making awareness and education more important than ever. Essex County and the state of New Jersey have multiple resources available for people living with Alzheimer’s, families, and caregivers, especially during this month.
Alzheimer’s Association Virtual Walks | Ongoing Virtual Events
Walking for Alzheimer’s can take place anywhere. The Alzheimer’s Association hosts hundreds of walks across the country every year, and this year is no different! Head to act.alz.org and enter your zip code to find a walk in your area or choose a walk to join.
ALZConnected | Ongoing Virtual Events
ALZConnected is hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association and is a support resource for people living with Alzheimer’s and their families, friends, loved ones, and caregivers. ALZConnected is a platform where people can ask questions, get advice, and find support. Due to COVID-19, all support opportunities will be hosted via phone or video conference. Visit the Community Resource Finder to locate a support group near you.
Home Care Assistance | 55 Mountain Boulevard, Warren
When an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is received, decisions on how to care for a loved one can be difficult for the families and friends involved. There are many resources and options to consider, which is why many lean on the Home Care Assistance to make the process easier by offering in-home care for people living with Alzheimer’s. The organization has taken special precautions against COVID-19 and has received positive reviews from those who have used the service. Click here to learn more about its work in Hudson County.
Elder Care Coaching | 14 Fairway Avenue, West Orange
Ruth Rothbart-Meyer is a Certified Dementia Practitioner, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and a Certified Geriatric Care Manager (Elder Care Coach). Ruth will educate the caregiver on how to identify needs, on the illness your loved one is experiencing, how it will progress and what to expect, as well as guide the caregiver and other family members through various referrals and resources available in the area. For more information on how to contact Ruth and learn more about the resources available, click here.
Tenafly Psychiatric Associates | 2 Dean Drive, Tenafly
Tenafly Psychiatric Associates offers individual, family, and group support therapy resources. The practice utilizes massage therapy, reiki, acupuncture, and more to assist those caring for family members or who are experiencing grief. Additionally, the practice offers cognitive testing for a variety of concerns, including dementia and Alzheimer’s. To learn more about this practice and its special focus on geriatric psychiatry, click here.
68% of people in New Jersey know someone impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Alzheimer’s New Jersey offers support groups, resources, and educational opportunities. The organization’s website has dozens of resources for concerns like Early Onset Dementia, keeping loved ones safe, supporting caregivers, legal and financial planning, and more. In addition to resources for those currently being affected by Alzheimer’s, there are ways to donate and get involved in supporting the cause. To learn more about Alzheimer’s New Jersey and to enter, click here.
Act Now Foundation Dementia Center | 830 Bergen Avenue, Suite A, Jersey City
Started in 2012, Act Now Foundation is a grass-roots non-profit organization begun by two local business owners whose families were separately hit by Alzheimer’s. In 2015, Act Now Foundation opened the first Alzheimer’s Resource Center in Northern New Jersey. Today, the organization connects people to vital community resources and information on aging and dementia, while developing innovative new approaches to aging issues. The organization covers all aspects of the disease: advocacy, support, education, and screening. To learn more about the work being done at the Act Now Foundation and to take advantage of the available resources, click here.
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a national organization committed to research, education, advocacy, and support surrounding Alzheimer’s. The organization hosts numerous virtual events through November, including support groups, music, and art classes, reminiscing opportunities, educational resources, and more. Additionally, the organization is consistently raising funds to support research and care. Head to the website to learn more.
Alaris Member Health Centers are leading providers of short-term post-hospital rehabilitation and long-term and specialty care, with Member Health Centers throughout New Jersey. Alaris is known for its five-star quality service and its expertise in caring for seniors experiencing Alzheimer’s and their family and friends. To learn more about residence availability and resources, click here
After an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, and as the disease progresses, many families are faced with the decision of how to properly care for their loved one. Memory Care Facilities are often a major part of this conversation. Hudson County is home to 18 Memory Care Facilities. All the facilities offer unique amenities and resources., These care centers provide an opportunity for those living with Alzheimer’s to live with assisted independence. Some amenities of these facilities include color coordinating for memory aid, secured and monitored entry and exits for safety, safe walking paths, regular weight gain, and loss checks, and many more. Experts suggest conducting proper research on each facility before making a decision to guarantee the facility meets your loved one’s needs. To learn more about all 18 facilities, click here.
This website offers a ton of good information about dementia and Alzheimer’s. In specific, there is one page with a list of resources and articles for memory loss and how to help/deal with it. Head to the website to learn more about the specifics.