Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove to establish a 15-member Alzheimer’s Disease Study Commission was signed into law today by Governor Christie.
The 9th District Delegation’s legislation (S-125/A-322) stipulated that the Commission’s duties would include, but would not be limited to, studying the current impact and incidence of Alzheimer’s disease among residents and make projections on the future impact on the state’s population, study the state’s role in long-term care for persons with early stage and early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease and consider the capacity of public safety and law enforcement to persons with Alzheimer’s disease.
The 9th District Lawmakers issued the following statement subsequent to the signing of their legislative initiative by the Governor:
“Our Delegation proudly sponsored this legislative initiative, which was proposed to us by the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Chapter of New Jersey, to develop more effective means of treating persons suffering with this medical condition and assisting their family members. Equally important, we wanted to start the complicated process for setting up a comprehensive framework, developed by persons with specialized expertise, for improving care and treatment needed in preparation of more individuals becoming diagnosed with this disease in our state.
“The statistics compiled by the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Chapter of New Jersey are frankly very alarming. On a national level, the Association estimates that 5.3 million people in the United States currently have Alzheimer’s Disease. Further estimates show there will be nearly a half million new cases of Alzheimer’s Disease each year; meaning that by 2050, there will be nearly a million new cases per year, and between 11 and 16 million persons with Alzheimer’s Disease.
“When considering the magnitude of these staggering projections, the need for action and long-term planning is obvious. The severity of the situation explains the strong bipartisan support for our legislation which passed unanimously in both Houses of the Legislature.
“The Commission’s membership will include the Commissioner of Health and Human Services, two members of the Alzheimer’s Association, three health care professionals involved in direct services, one representative of the clergy with experience in providing emotional and spiritual care and one practicing attorney with expertise in legal and financial planning for the elderly. Under the law, the Commission will organize as soon as practical following the appointment of its membership and the selection of a Chairman.”