Only about half of New Jersey residents who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (54 percent) get referred to support services by their physicians. That’s one of the findings of a recent survey conducted on behalf of Alzheimer’s New Jersey by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind.
Alzheimer’s has touched a lot of lives in New Jersey, most devastatingly the 180,000 individuals diagnosed with the disease and their caretakers. There’s no cure for the disease but services are available for both the person with the disease, their families and caregivers; there are respite and support groups, and education programs. All the more reason, said Ken Zaentz, president and CEO of Alzheimer’s New Jersey, for doctors to include information about such services as part of the diagnosis conversation. For example, a referral could be made to the Alzheimer’s New Jersey Helpline for next steps.
“Receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can be devastating. It is so important that those diagnosed and their caregivers are informed that there are support services that they and their families can access and take advantage of,” said Zaentz.