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Advocacy Update: Major Victory for Alzheimer Advocates

In February, we received some very exciting news that will dramatically affect the lives of tens of thousands of Americans living with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that it will streamline the application process and decrease the wait time for benefits for people with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, helping families get the assistance they need. Alzheimer’s Association advocates helped SSA understand the impact of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease on individuals and their families and helped influence their decision to add early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias to their list of Compassionate Allowances. Without advocates just like YOU, this wouldn’t have been possible. Please join us in thanking the SSA for their decision. For more information, please contact Debbie Warburton at 973.586.4300, or

Alzheimer's Disease Study Commission

The Alzheimer's Association, Greater New Jersey Chapter is pleased by the introduction of a bill that will officially create an Alzheimer’s Disease Study Commission. The Commission will: give an overview of the impact of Alzheimer's disease in New Jersey; analyze all areas affected by Alzheimer's issues; identify existing services and service gaps; and propose legislation to the New Jersey Legislature and the Governor on how the state can better serve individuals with Alzheimer's disease and their families.  Please contact your legislator and ask him/her to add their support to this bill (S125/A322). Click here to find your legislator and take action! 

Join the cause

The Alzheimer’s Association--Greater New Jersey Chapter invites you to become an Alzheimer advocate. Join us and speak up for the needs and rights of people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families.

Add your voice to ours — become an advocate today.

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Annual events

Walk to End Alzheimer's®

Walk to End Alzheimer's® is the single, largest event where YOU can become an advocate and make your VOICE heard. So, put on your walking shoes, join us at next year's Walk to End Alzheimer's®, and sign up to become an advocate. Give VOICE to the over 5 million Americans who are struggling with Alzheimer's disease.

New Jersey Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Day

In April 2007, Governor Jon Corzine officially signed into law the first Monday of November as Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Day, and the month of November as Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in New Jersey. This legislation will help us to continue with our awareness raising efforts in New Jersey and create unification among New Jersey residents who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease.

For more information about these events, please contact Debbie Warburton, MSW by phone at 973.586.4300, or by e-mail at  

What is an advocate?

Alzheimer advocates play an important role in improving the quality of care and quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families by working to improve dementia care and services; improve access to community-based care; improve quality care in residential settings; and expand funding for research and public programs serving people with dementia.

As an advocate, you will:

  • Receive regular updates about current legislative and public policy issues.
  • Stay on top of policy and legislative issues through alerts and updates.
  • Make calls or write to legislators to forward public policy priorities to improve quality of life for those living with Alzheimer’s.

New Jersey advocacy

Alzheimer's Association, Greater New Jersey Chapter State Public Policy Priorities

Currently there are an estimated 350,000 Alzheimer’s disease individuals and families living in New Jersey. That is estimating a minimum of one primary caregiver for every person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder. Through the public policy arena we hope to help improve policies and programs affecting New Jersey residents who live with Alzheimer’s and their families. Here are the highlights of our public policy priorities:

Establish a State Alzheimer’s Disease Study Commission in New Jersey
The Alzheimer's Association, Greater New Jersey Chapter advocates for the development of a State Alzheimer’s Disease Study Commission. The Commission will consist of public and private stakeholders that will gather and disseminate information relative to the care and treatment of persons with Alzheimer’s disease. The Commission will make recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature to ensure that the policies to improve lives of Alzheimer’s individuals and families are implemented.

Maintain Medicaid Access for Persons with Alzheimer’s
Medicaid provides health services, nursing home care and various long-term home and community based services for individuals who meet program requirements. It is critical to continually monitor the Medicaid program, and advocate against any budget cuts or program changes that would adversely affect this critical program for Alzheimer’s families.

Ensure Quality Care in All Settings
As persons with Alzheimer’s and related dementia progress through the stages of their disease, they need access to a broad array of services. As the leading authority on issues related to Alzheimer’s, the Alzheimer's Association will continue to monitor and evaluate care in all types of settings and advocate against any policies and/or regulations that will adversely affect persons with Alzheimer’s and related disorders.

Improve Adult Guardianship Jurisdiction
The Alzheimer's Association supports the adoption of the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA) by all states. Currently, the U.S. has more than 50 different adult guardianship systems, and no channel exists for courts in the state to communicate with courts in different states about adult guardianship jurisdiction issues. This legislation:
• Enables courts in different states to communicate with each other about adult guardianship and determine which is the appropriate court to oversee the guardianship process.
• Avoids unnecessary financial and emotional challenges for families.

For more information on these issues, please contact:

Debbie Warburton, MSW
Greater New Jersey Chapter
Public Policy, Advocacy & Volunteer Coordinator

The Alzheimer's Association has worked hard to have legislation introduced and passed that will ensure improved care for Alzheimer's individuals.

As a result of our advocacy efforts, the following pieces of legislation have been signed into law.

P.L. 2007, c. 66, sponsored by Senators Fred H. Madden Jr. and Barbara Buono, and Assemblymen Joseph Vas, Joseph J. Roberts Jr., Herb Conaway, and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainier Huttle; and co-sponsored by Senator Joseph Vitale and Assemblymen Jack Conners, Robert M. Gordon and Assemblywoman Nilsa Cruz-Perez, permanently declares the 1st Monday of November as Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Day in New Jersey. The Governor and the Legislature urge all citizens to recognize "Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month" and "Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Day," and to provide encouragement and assistance to those organizations that offer educational, advocacy and support services for Alzheimer's victims and their caregivers.

P.L.2005, c.72, sponsored by Assemblyman Joseph Cryan and Assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson; co-sponsored by Senators Fred H. Madden Jr., Stephen M. Sweeney, Barbara Buono, Diane B. Allen and Assemblymen Reed Gusciora, Upendra J. Chivukula, Frederick Scalera, Louis M. Manzo, Peter C. Eagler, Jack Conners and Assemblywoman Linda R. Greenstein, permanently requires Department of Law and Public Safety to establish policy for State Police and local law enforcement in working with Safe Return Program to recover lost individuals with Alzheimer's Disease and related disorders. Safe Return is a national identification, support and registration program working in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies to safely return individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, who become lost, to their families and caregivers; and it is in the interest of protecting the health and welfare of our State residents diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders to establish a requirement that all State Police and local law enforcement personnel receive instruction on the utilization of the Safe Return program to facilitate the safe recovery of those who wander off and become lost.

P.L. 2003, c. 268, sponsored by Senators Robert Singer and Joseph Vitale, and Assemblymen Craig Stanley, Robert Smith, and Gary Guear; and co-sponsored by Senators Shirley Turner and Diane Allen, and Assemblymen Jeff Van Drew, Sean Kean, Alfred Steele and Herb Conaway, requires any long-term care facility that provides specialized care of individuals with Alzheimer's disease, to provide potential clients with a clear and concise written list indicating the services provided in relation to the care of individuals with Alzheimer's disease.

P.L.2003, c.269, sponsored by Senators Robert Singer and Joseph Vitale, and Assemblymen Craig Stanley, John Burzichelli and Douglas Fisher; and co-sponsored by Senators Shirley Turner and Diane Allen, and Assemblymen Jeff Van Drew, Sean Kean, Alfred Steele and Gary Guear, requires a mandatory training progam be established for certified nurse aides, licensed practical nurses, registered professional nurses and other healthcare professionals who provide direct care to individuals in a long-term care facility, in the specialized care of individuals diagnosed as having Alzheimer's disease.

Your input is always important! If you would like to share your thoughts on issues you think we should address, please contact Debbie Warburton, by phone at 973-586-4300, or by email at

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Federal advocacy