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Chapter 166 of the Public Laws of 2018, created the New Jersey Caregiver Task Force.  The purpose of the Task Force was to determine the availability of caregiver support services in the State, and provide recommendations for the improvement and expansion of such services. The Task Force’s final report can be found here.

Members of the Task Force represented unpaid caregivers who provide care to individuals with a wide range of needs including older Americans, and those with mental illness, disabilities, chronic health conditions, cognitive or behavioral health challenges, or intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

The act of caregiving can take a serious emotional and physical toll on the caregiver

  • Caregivers are often the immediate family members of the individual being cared for, but may also be friends or community members thereof.
  • Caring for persons with cognitive or behavioral health problems or disorders, such as persons with a mental illness, disease, or disability, can be particularly challenging, since cognitive or behavioral health issues may cause the person to resist taking medications or reject assistance with daily activities
  • Many caregivers feel that they lack the necessary skill set or institutional support, or both, to perform the various tasks required of them. Because of a lack of sufficient caregiver support services, many caregivers either miss work or are forced to quit their jobs in order to effectively provide caregiving service.  

The NJ Caregiver Task Force conducted a survey of about 1,000 New Jersey caregivers, held listening sessions where they heard the stories of caregivers directly, and researched and compiled resources available to caregivers in New Jersey. The Task Force would like to thank all of the caregivers who completed the survey amd shared their caregiving expperiences through testimony, both written and spoken.

The Task Force's final report has been published and is available here. The report details how caregivers shared their experiences feelings of isolation and lack of awareness of programs and services that might help in their caregiving roles. It provides robust recommendations on how to advance meaningful changes to strengthen supports and services available to caregivers across the state. Family caregivers play a critical role in the lives of loved ones who require assistance and provide an essential service that often amounts to a part-time or full-time job. The Department of Human Services has programs available to help relieve some ofo the stress that comes with this responsibility. With over a million caregivers in the state, the Caregiver Task Force hopes more people will take advantage of these programs and share this information.

 
 
 
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