Alaska State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
In 2011, the Alaska Commission on Aging began the work of creating a state plan to address Alzheimer’s and dementia. With collaboration from other state agencies, community organizations, mental health professionals, and long-term care providers, the Commission formed a core team responsible for drafting Alaska’s response to Alzheimer’s. After collecting public input, Alaska’s Roadmap to Address Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias was published in December 2014. A subsequent plan entitled A Call to Action: Alaska’s 10-Year Map to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia was released in January 2021.
Alaska 2023 Policy Priorities
Empower Certified Nursing Assistants with Dementia Training
By 2025, the number of Alaskans living with dementia aged 65 and older will increase by an astounding 29.4% from 2020. To keep up with the growing numbers of individuals diagnosed with dementia, the health care workforce must be equipped with dementia training standards to provide quality care. The Alzheimer’s Association and advocates are calling on state lawmakers to require dementia-specific training for certified nursing assistant programs across the state.
Expand Funding for the Dementia Awareness and Health Care Capacity Program
The Dementia Awareness and Health Care Capacity Program was established for the promotion of dementia awareness to indigenous, Filipino, and rural Alaskans of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging state policymakers to appropriate $50,000 to further implement the Program and increase awareness in rural areas of the state.
Empower Adult Protective Services Workers with Dementia Training
As the cognitive function of individuals living with dementia declines, many are faced with abuse and neglect and thus rely on Adult Protective Services (APS) workers to intervene. APS workers in Alaska are not currently required to receive any type of training for interacting with people living with dementia. Education on the disease and training in de-escalation tactics can often effectively address these situations and ensure the safety of individuals living with dementia as well as the safety of APS workers. The Alzheimer’s Association and advocates are urging state lawmakers to require APS workers to receive dementia-specific training through the Association’s APS and Community Workers training program.
Improve Dementia Data Collection Across the State
Through the newly established Dementia Awareness and Healthcare Capacity program, Alaska has a stronger infrastructure to collect important dementia data. With the population of Alaskans living with dementia and caregivers increasing, data on dementia-related matters must be made widely available. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on Alaska’s legislators to require the Dementia Awareness Program to report annually on data related to dementia and caregivers across the state, and require this responsibility to be included in the Department of Health Policies and Procedures Manual.
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Together, we’re making an impact. Find an Alzheimer’s Association chapter in your community for more ways to engage.
State Affairs Contact: Elizabeth Bolling
Email: [email protected]
people living with Alzheimer’s in Alaska
Alaskans are providing unpaid care
Medicaid cost of caring for people living with Alzheimer’s (2020)
increase in Alzheimer’s deaths 2000-2019
in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia
increase of geriatricians in Alaska needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in Alaska
The following resources developed by AIM and the Alzheimer’s Association will help you learn more about the issues impacting people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, how Alaska policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.