District of Columbia State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview 

An image of a Woman and Health Aide

In 2012, the District of Columbia Office on Aging (DCOA) established a workgroup of community partners and stakeholders to develop an Alzheimer's plan. The District of Columbia State Plan on Alzheimer's Disease 2014-2019 was published a year later to mitigate the effects of Alzheimer's disease and improve access to benefits for those affected within the District. In an important next step, legislation enacted in 2019 created the role of Dementia Services Coordinator in the D.C. Department of Health and is tasked with implementing and updating the District’s State Alzheimer’s Plan. After convening a Brain Health Coalition of stakeholders across government, private sector partners and advocates, the District released The District of Columbia State Plan on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias 2024-2028. The updated State Plan highlights the prevalence and burden of Alzheimer's in the District and emphasizes Alzheimer's as a public health issue. The Plan includes recommendations around increasing public awareness, supporting dementia family caregivers and strengthening the health workforce.

District of Columbia 2024 Policy Priorities

An image of a Family Caregiver with Patient in Wheelchair

Support Families Through a Dementia Care Specialist Program

Individuals diagnosed or caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s have to navigate a complex network of services and benefits to meet their care needs. With the prevalence of Alzheimer's and other dementia projected to grow, the District of Columbia needs a stronger infrastructure for providing accessible support to individuals living with dementia and their caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on the DC Council to appropriate funds to establish a Dementia Care Specialist position within the Department of Aging and Community Living. The specialist will provide critical support to dementia caregivers by helping them access dementia-specific information and resources.

AA Woman Generic patient

Support Publication and Implementation of the State Plan on Alzheimer’s Disease

Following Council and Mayoral actions to establish a Dementia Coordinator position in 2019, the District of Columbia has worked to update its State Plan on Alzheimer’s Disease. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on Councilmembers to support appropriations to enable implementation of the state Alzheimer’s plan to support people with dementia and their family caregivers. Important focus areas include building awareness, strengthening the dementia care workforce, increasing access to care and improving quality of care.

Checking Blood Pressure

Implement the Dementia Training for Direct Care Workers Act

The Dementia Training for Direct Care Workers Act was signed into law in 2020, marking a huge victory for the District of Columbia. The Act establishes dementia training requirements for staff who actively engage with residents and requires facilities to establish procedures regarding the treatment and care of residents living with dementia. The bill also requires the Department of Health to designate standardized training and conduct a rate study to ensure workers are appropriately compensated. Although the Act was enacted and funded in 2020, the requirements of the Act need to be implemented. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on policymakers to fully implement the Dementia Training for Direct Care Workers Act.

An image of a Family Caregiver Checking Pulse

Ensure Existing Dementia Programs Remain Fully Funded

Across the DC Government, multiple programs support people living with dementia. The Dementia Navigation Program provides critical services to families seeking to keep their loved ones at home. Other DC-funded caregiver support groups provide dementia-specific resources to help families impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementia. Budget cuts to these programs would be extremely detrimental and could lead to increased DC Medicaid spending, as people would require higher levels of care.

Find My Chapter

Together, we’re making an impact. Find an Alzheimers Association chapter in your community for more ways to engage.

Contact Us

State Affairs Contact: Andrew Ross

Phone: 202.638.8663

Email: [email protected]


people living with Alzheimer’s in the District of Columbia


Washingtonians are providing unpaid care

$126 Million

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


deaths from Alzheimer’s disease in 2021


in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia


increase of geriatricians in the District of Columbia needed to meet the demand in 2050

Resources to Drive Change in District of Columbia

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 District of Columbia policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.