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Over 1 million in N.J. need help caring for the elderly | Editorial

Times of Trenton
December 5, 2017
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Who cares for the caregivers?

More than 1 million New Jersey residents are part of a vast army of family members and friends who work around the clock, tending to the wellbeing of ill and elderly loved ones who live at home.

They receive no money, and get little time off to recharge their own batteries.

The responsibilities can seem endless, from helping dad bathe and dress every morning to preparing meals to tempt mom's flagging appetite, from navigating a constantly changing medical system to tending to wounds that refuse to heal.

The rewards can be great, not the least of which is knowing your dear one can continue to live at home, rather than in a nursing home or rehab center.

Yet the toll - financial, physical and emotional - can be astronomical.

In addition to lost wages and benefits due to the demands on their time, many in this role feel overwhelmed and anxious. Burn-out is almost inevitable.

But the calculus of care-taking may be changing, as state lawmakers consider ways to ease the burden.

Peggy's Law offers comfort for children of elderly parents | Editorial

On Thursday, the Assembly Health Committee gave thumbs up to a measure that would create a temporary nine-member task force to review ways to make life easier for unpaid individuals providing these vital services.


NJ Spotlight
DECEMBER 8, 2017
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More good news for moms, a measure that would exempt breast pumps from sales tax, and one that extends civil rights to breastfeeding
breast feeding
Breastfeeding mothers and infants consuming breast milk got support in several ways from New Jersey lawmakers on Thursday with the approval of bills designed to boost their rights, their wallets, and the health of their babies.

“It was a good day for women and their families, for nutrition and good health,” said Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) and a co-sponsor of all three measures that were approved without debate by one house or the other.

Several of the bills’ sponsors said the measures are part of the Legislature’s recognition of the benefits of breast milk to infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that breast milk contains all the vitamins and nutrients a baby needs in his first six months of life, as well as disease-fighting substances that can protect babies from illness. They want to make it easier, safer, and cheaper for women to feed their children.

One of two bills receiving final legislative passage had drawn some opposition in the past. S-974/A-1442 sets standards for human milk banks looking to operate in the state or donating milk to hospitals here. It cleared the Assembly 73-0.

Who’s caring for NJ’s caregivers?

NJ 101.5 FM
December 6, 2017
Dino Flammia
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Is New Jersey doing all it can to support the state’s estimated 1.75 million unpaid caregivers?

A measure moving through the New Jersey Legislature creates a task force whose main focus would be the individuals providing daily care to family and friends, and never getting reimbursed in the process.

After evaluating the current services available and the true depth of a caregiver’s role, the “New Jersey Caregiver Task Force” would make recommendations for ways to improve and expand assistance.

“There’s a huge toll on the individuals that care for loved ones in their homes,” Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, D-Camden, told New Jersey 101.5, suggesting this group of individuals has been “largely ignored.”

“I think we’re ill-prepared for the Baby Boomer generation,” she added.

Getting in-home care from family or friends can help an individual avoid the high costs of the state and center-based care, Lampitt noted. But due to the emotional and physical demands of the role, caregivers generally experience more health complications and higher mortality risks than non-caregivers.

The number of adults in the state who need assistance with daily living activities is expected to double by 2020, according to the bill.

Sixth District Legislators to host "Mobile Office" at the Katz Jewish Community Center

In an effort to bring convenient and local constituent services to the community, the 6th Legislative District will be hosting a mobile office event on August 11 between 9:00 AM-12:00 PM at the Katz Community Center located at 1301 Springdale Rd in Cherry Hill, NJ to help residents navigate through a variety of state issues and services.

The mobile office will be staffed by experienced representatives who will assist residents with questions or concerns about state issues including, but not limited to unemployment claim difficulties, PTR (senior tax freeze) assistance, utility and energy assistance programs, consumer complaints, and state financial aid.

The mobile office will also offer a variety of resources for families and seniors, travel information, activity books for children, and information on recreational activities in New Jersey.

Should you be unable to attend, the legislative offices of Beach, Greenwald and Lampitt are available Monday through Friday 9:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M. to assist constituents. Senator Beach can be reached at (856) 429-1572 or at SenBeach@njleg.org, and Assemblyman Greenwald and Assemblywoman Lampitt can be reached at (856) 435-1247, AsmGreenwald@njleg.org or AswLampitt@njleg.org.

Lampitt Bill to make it Easier for Veterans to Access Health Services Gains Senate Approval

Assembly Majority Office
June 23, 2015
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Legislation Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Vince Mazzeo, Bob Andrzejczak and Raj Mukherji sponsored to help New Jersey veterans access much-needed health services gained approval from the Senate by a vote of 33-1 on Thursday.

Under the bill (A-3749), the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs would be required to establish a program to provide assistance to qualified veterans in in-patient and out-patient treatment programs to travel to attend counseling programs within New Jersey.

"Many veterans are unable to take advantage of helpful treatment programs in New Jersey because of the difficulty in arranging transportation," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "This bill will promote transportation assistance to veterans in order to ensure our veterans have the access to quality care they deserve."

"Counseling programs are vital for many of our veterans, who sacrificed so much serving our country," said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "Unfortunately, getting to these programs can prove difficult for many veterans, so the least we can do is create a program to ensure they can travel to attend these programs."