State Sen. Holly Schepisi (R-River Vale) called on Gov. Phil Murphy to provide guidance allowing the centers contracted with the state’s Alzheimer’s Adult Day Services Program to reopen Thursday.
“My office hears almost daily from distressed families that have struggled for more than a year without any support or relief to care for spouses and grandparents with challenging conditions, including dementia and Alzheimer’s,” she said. “They can’t understand why Governor Murphy continues to ignore the needs of their loved ones who need access to day programs that provide medical care and opportunities for social interaction.”
Those programs state-subsidized adult day care for adults diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. They must run for at least five hours each day and provide a space for afflicted individuals with income below a certain threshold, $50,256 for single persons and $58,632 for married couples.
Though the state has tied the reopening of day programs for adults with disabilities to the COVID-19 Activity Level Index, no similar guidance has been issued for the Alzheimer’s day programs.
“Family members have suggested reopening these programs using the existing guidance already approved for other adult day care programs,” Schepisi said. “There’s no justification for the Murphy administration to keep these programs closed any longer, especially with rising rates of vaccination for both caregivers and patients, and most mask and social distancing restrictions being lifted statewide.”
The Department of Health administers the Alzheimer’s day programs, while day programs for adults with developmental disabilities are overseen by a division of the Department of Human Services.