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About Us

The foundation's work continues in memory of Francisca I. Lopez.

Since 2012, Act Now Foundation, a grass roots 501(c)(3) non-profit, has worked tirelessly to raise awareness, advocate, and educate New Jersey about Alzheimer's disease, prevention, and early detection. 

Act Now Foundation holding a check after winning a charity contest

Our Story

Before Act Now Foundation existed, Cary Lopez and Kristine Allen were two successful local business owners in the fragrance sector. In 2009, their families were separately hit by Alzheimer's disease, and their struggles to find local, relevant support and information to improve the quality of life for their loved ones began. After several years of researching, training, living, caring, and comforting for others, our co-founders decided to sell their business and launch Act Now foundation.

Act Now Foundation offers a less formal and more supportive environment for families living with Alzheimer's disease. Today we are connecting people to vital community resources & information on aging and dementia; while developing innovative new approaches to aging issues.

Our Story
Our Mission & Why It Matters

OUR VISION & MISSION

Our vision is to create a dementia-friendly New Jersey. To reduce the impact of Alzheimer's disease in New Jersey and to engage the communities to build supportive, capable, and Alzheimer's educated environments. To help caregivers become prepared, supported and more capable of coping with the communication challenges they face living and caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease or related dementias.

Programs are funded in part by the Hudson County Office on Aging, the Hudson County Office of Inclusion and Accessibility, the Bergen County Division of Senior Services, the Essex County Division of Senior Services, Community Development Block Grants, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, and The Henry & Marilyn Taub Foundation.

WHY IT MATTERS

Alzheimer's disease is among the only top 10 causes of death in America that can't be prevented, cured or even slowed. It is the 6th leading cause of death in America but the 5th leading cause of death for women in New Jersey. In the low-income, Hispanic and urban communities, Alzheimer's disease will increase over 600% by the year 2050. Without a doubt, the Alzheimer's disease crisis is upon us. Act Now Foundation is aiming to level the playing field for under-served populations of urban and suburban communities within New Jersey.

 

In New Jersey, there are over 447,000 caregivers taking care of over 170,000 seniors with Alzheimer's disease. Half of those seniors have never been officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and the other half have never received treatment or support services for the disease. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Hudson County has the 4th highest percentage of older adults living with AD in the country; behind Miami-Dade, the Bronx, and Kings County in New York.

Co-Founders smiling

More About Act Now Foundation

Act Now Foundation is a member of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, an Alois Society Member of the Alzheimer's Association, a founding member of the Hudson County Caregiver Coalition, and Steering Committee Co-Chair of the Community Networking Association of Hudson County. They have received Citation Awards from the City of Hoboken, Jersey City, and have been awarded two Proclamations from the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Mayor of Jersey City, Steven Fulop.

In 2016, Act Now Foundation co-wrote two laws on Alzheimer's disease in the State of New Jersey. The new laws mandate that Alzheimer's disease be listed as a cause of death on death certificates (when applicable), which ensures an accurate count of those loved ones who pass away from Alzheimer's disease;  because numbers matter. The second law increases the scope of training for New Jersey's Home Health Care Aides; ensuring that they are properly trained to take care of loved ones afflicted with Alzheimer's or related dementias.

More About ANF

A BRIEF HISTORY OF 

ACT NOW FOUNDATION

2009-2012

The Co-Founders struggled to find local, relevant support and information to improve the quality of life for their loved ones.

2015

The Co-Founders spearheaded 2 new laws in the State of New Jersey to improve care for those living with dementia.

2017

The organization held their first Annual Music & Memories Gala fundraiser.

The organization launched the Brain Health Initiative which includes the annual Brain Health & Wellness Fair.

The organization expanded their programs & services into Bergen County with the help of the Henry & Marilyn Taub Foundation.

2019

The organizations' programs & services were funded by the Bergen County Division of Senior Services.

The organization expanded and opened their 3rd office location in Bergen County.

Awarded a Census Grant by the State of NJ to ensure that seniors were included in the count.

2021

Launched the Wellness Program to ensure that all clients of Act Now Foundation continued to receive the supportive services they needed during the pandemic.

Honored by the City of West New York, the Ponce de Leon Foundation, the Amfund Foundation and the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation for their work in supporting seniors during the pandemic.

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2009

The Co-Founders' families were separately hit by Alzheimer's disease.

2012

The Co-Founders decided to sell their business in the fragrance industry and launch Act Now Foundation to help those that share their struggles.

2016

The organizations' programs & services were first funded by the Hudson County Office on Aging.

2018

The organization expanded and opened their second office and new headquarter "Dementia Resource Center" in Northern Hudson County.

2020

Launched the Food4Life Project in collaboration with Moms Meals to provide homebound seniors with dietary specific meals during the pandemic.

2022

The organization celebrated its 10-Year Anniversary.

Expanded their programs & services into Essex County with funding provided by the Essex County Division of Senior Services.

New Jersey Policy Makers Power List 2022 – Kristine Allen and Cary Lopez for Act Now Foundation in Hudson County.

The organization was awarded a 3-year Consultant contract to provide disability awareness training to First Responders under the Kevin and Avonte Program: Reducing Injury and Death of Missing Individuals with Dementia and Developmental Disabilities.

Timeline
Meet the Team

Meet The Team

Kristine Allen

Kristine Allen
President & Co-Founder

Cary Lopez

Cary Lopez
Executive Director & Co-Founder

Stacy Hutsell

Stacy Hutsell
Program Director

Jessica Vega

Jessica Vega
Program Manager

Katia.png

Katia Suttile
Program Coordinator

Our Funders