Just over one year ago, we left the Chicago-based National Alzheimer’s Association so that we could focus 100% of our donors’ generosity as well as the time and energy of our staff and volunteers on helping New Jersey residents who are impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias; helping in ways that only a local organization can. What an exciting year it was in 2016! We are so grateful for the way New Jersey stepped up to ensure that our commitment to our own state remains stronger than ever!
In 2016, we conducted our first survey to document the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on our state. According to an FDU PublicMind survey on behalf of Alzheimer’s New Jersey®, more than 68 percent of New Jersey residents know someone who has or had Alzheimer’s or other dementias and 71% of those are family members.
To address the tremendous impact of Alzheimer’s disease in New Jersey, we held 247 education programs for Family Caregivers and healthcare professionals that were attended by 6,400 participants; helping them develop a better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, research trends and important care strategies including those needed to address changes in communication and behavior.
Our 58 Family Support Groups with attendance of over 2,400 gave caregivers the opportunity to connect and support each other and learn about respite resources. And speaking of respite, our Respite Care and Wellness Program had a 38% increase in the number of respite scholarships we provided to primary family caregivers. In addition, through our Helpline, we gave local resources, support and information to over 2,300 callers.
And, our inaugural Walk to Fight Alzheimer’s® had tremendous enthusiasm and local spirit as we raised community awareness about the impact of Alzheimer’s with the help of 526 teams and over 4,100 participants who raised $750,000 for the New Jersey fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
As we build on our success, there is so much more on the horizon. Through your continued help and support we will continue to battle this disease together with a strong focus on our Vision to: Improve the lives of people in New Jersey who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia; offering continuous hope and support.