California State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
In 2008, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 491 calling for the development of a state plan. Under the direction of the California Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Advisory Committee, established within the California Health and Human Services Agency, a task force was created including representatives from state agencies, community organizations, underrepresented communities, and academia as well as health care providers, caregivers, and individuals living with the dementia. After incorporating public feedback to address California’s culturally diverse population, the task force published California’s State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease: An Action Plan for 2011-2021.
California 2024 Policy Priorities
Modernize the Alzheimer’s Day Care Resource Centers (ADCRC) Community Supports
People living with Alzheimer’s in California need access to community supports to avoid costly, facility-based care. The Cal-COMPASS (California Community Program for Alzheimer’s Services and Supports) Pilot Program was designed to serve as a “learning laboratory” through which to further develop best practices to prevent or delay institutionalization of people living with dementia, support caregivers, and advance health equity through the restoration of the Alzheimer’s Day Care Resource Centers (ADCRC). Now California must build on the lessons learned by this pilot to create a modernized community care model based on the Alzheimer’s Day Care Resource Center (ADCRC) and house ADCRCs under the California Department of Aging to better support people living with dementia.
Ensure Training for Medical Professionals to Improve Diagnosis
Approximately 50% of people living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia never receive a formal diagnosis. This limits their ability to engage in care planning and access available resources. Physicians and other medical professionals are on the front lines in addressing this critical issue, but we must ensure they have the training they need to make a diagnosis or referral to best serve people living with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association is working to ensure all physicians who care for adults have a basic level of training on Alzheimer’s and other dementia.
Support Funding for the Dementia Care Aware Program
Nearly 840,000 Californians are living with dementia, and fewer than half have received a formal diagnosis. The Dementia Care Aware program, which was created in 2021 to provide cognitive screening incentive payments and dementia-specific training for primary care providers, is addressing the vital need. This program is operated by the California Alzheimer’s Disease Centers (CADCs), a statewide network of ten sites housed at public and private universities codified to provide Alzheimer’s expertise, research, and diagnostics. The program needs continued financial support to provide these services to people living with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging state lawmakers to appropriate funding to support dementia assessments through the Dementia Care Aware program.
California State Advocacy Day
Join advocates in Sacramento on May 7, 2024 for State Advocacy Day! Advocates will come together and share their stories with state legislators to urge support for our critical policy priorities to improve the lives of people living with dementia.
Sign Up to Learn About Advocacy Opportunities in California
Find My Chapter
Together, we’re making an impact. Find an Alzheimer’s Association chapter in your community for more ways to engage.
State Affairs Contact: Jason Gabhart
Email: [email protected]
people living with Alzheimer’s in California
Californians 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 California needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in California
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 California policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.