Arkansas State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview 

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In 2009, the Task Force on the Effect of Alzheimers Disease in Arkansas was established via House Bill 1014 to bring together caregivers, public health officials, patient advocates, and community leaders to tackle a range of issues impacting people living with Alzheimers, their caregivers and the state. After collecting public feedback to inform the plan's recommendations, in 2011 the Task Force published the Task Force on the Effect of Alzheimers Disease in Arkansas Final Report. In 2021, the Arkansas General Assembly approved a measure that created a permanent Alzheimer’s and Dementia Advisory Council in the state. The Council is charged with updating the current Alzheimer’s and Dementia State Disease Plan and working with key stakeholders to ensure that the plan is implemented. 

In 2022, the Council released the updated Alzheimer’s and Dementia Arkansas State Plan. The updated State Plan establishes recommendations for prioritizing the state’s response to Alzheimer’s. Among the recommendations are permanently reauthorizing the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Advisory Committee; conducting a statewide needs assessment to determine the capacity, availability, cost, and quality of existing dementia care options; and expanding in-home and facility-based respite services for family caregivers of individuals living with dementia.

Arkansas 2024 Policy Priorities

An image of a Family Caregiver with Patient in Wheelchair
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Increase Respite Funding for Dementia Caregivers 

154,000 caregivers in Arkansas provided 268 million hours of unpaid care, often enabling their loved ones living with dementia to live in the community instead of moving into more costly residential long-term care. Current state funding for respite care does not meet the existing needs of caregivers for people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia, and this shortfall will only grow as the dementia population continues to increase in Arkansas. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging state lawmakers to appropriate $200,000 in state funding for dementia-specific respite care in Arkansas to ensure family caregivers have the critical support they need, especially in rural areas that are disproportionately affected by the disease.

 

Patient with Family Looking at Pamphlet
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Increase Public Awareness of Alzheimer’s in Arkansas 

Arkansas is home to 58,000 individuals living with Alzheimer’s and by 2025, the number of Arkansans living with the disease is estimated to increase by 15.5%. As the population with dementia grows, a robust public health response is needed to mitigate future impact. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state policymakers to appropriate $300,000 for a public awareness campaign that emphasizes the importance of risk reduction, early detection and diagnosis. This investment is critical to support the health and well-being of communities across Arkansas.

 

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Contact Us

State Affairs Contact: David Cook 

Phone: 479.689.4849

Email: [email protected]

58,000

people living with Alzheimer’s in Arkansas

154,000

Arkansans are providing unpaid care

$396 Million

Medicaid cost of caring for people living with Alzheimer’s (2020)

250.5%

increase in Alzheimer’s deaths 2000-2019

18%

in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia

143.6%

increase of geriatricians in Arkansas needed to meet the demand in 2050