Dear Editor,

I am writing to you as a junior at Governor Livingston High School. In August, I joined the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater New Jersey Chapter, as a volunteer congressional advocate. I am very interested in public policy and have just spent one year on Rep. Tom Malinsowski’s Youth Advisory Council. When I saw the opportunity to continue working with his office, I knew the Alzheimer’s Association would be a great fit. 

I want to make it my mission to help improve care and quality of life for Alzheimer’s patients, dementia patients, and their caregivers. One of the most pressing issues relating to both diseases is that many seniors often experience elder abuse, both in public settings and in their homes. An estimated 62% of adults with dementia experience psychological abuse, with 31% experiencing multiple forms of abuse. Elder abuse, whether it is physical, emotional, financial, etc., can make the progression of this disease more rapid. It is imperative that efforts are made through legislation to protect this vulnerable population.

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Recently, the Alzheimer’s Association put forth a bill titled the “Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act.” This bill just unanimously passed in both the House and the Senate. It is designed to train first responders to properly recognize and handle abuse situations for those with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and also COVID-19. 

I hope you will join me in thanking Senator Bob Menendez, who introduced the bill, and Rep. Tom Malinowski, a co-sponsor in the House, for their efforts. With their leadership, elder abuse will become much easier to identify and prevent. 

 I am so glad I could be involved in advocating for this issue, and would like to see others in my community joining me in this effort. Alzheimer’s affects almost 6 million Americans, many of whom cannot speak for themselves. Your voice is needed. Visit https://alzimpact.org/volunteer to learn more.

Sincerely,

Emily Radick

Mountainside, New Jersey