Sources: NJ News 12; njTransit.com
Bud Focht was the sports information director at Rider University for 35 years. He would have celebrated his 40th anniversary there, but he gave up that job five years ago to care for his wife Terry.
When Terry developed early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, Focht says that his working days were over. Friends suggested that he put his wife in a nursing home, but he rejected that notion. “She’s my wife, she’s my partner and if anyone’s going to take care of her, it’s going to be me.”
Terry was diagnosed with the illness at age 54, which is rare. And at that age, the disease comes with an accelerated timeline. “Six to eight-year period between diagnosis and the end, and Terry was diagnosed seven years ago,” Focht says.
Within 15 years, older people will outnumber younger ones in the United States for the first time. The COVID-19 pandemic shows that the country may not be ready. Long-term care facilities in New Jersey struggled with COVID-19 outbreaks and about 8,000 people living in them died from the virus. Because of this, President Joe Biden wants to spend more money on at-home caregiving.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the nation’s caregiving crisis, including overrun nursing homes and those who watch loved ones at home.
Focht says that the pandemic has not changed anything for him – he has been living in quarantine ever since he left Rider to care for his wife. But for some, it isn’t a burden, it’s a privilege.
“I go to the bank once a month; I go to the store once a week and that’s it. Other than that, I’m next to my wife 24 hours a day. And I’m not complaining at all, I’m blessed.”
Through our VAXRIDE initiative, NJ TRANSIT supports New Jerseyans in their efforts to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Below you will find a map which can be used to find vaccination sites that are conveniently served by NJ TRANSIT bus, train and light rail routes. We will be adding additional information and features to this tool and encourage you to check back frequently for updates.
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