Florida State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
In 2012, the Florida legislature passed HB 473, establishing the Purple Ribbon Task Force (PRTF) within the Department of Elder Affairs, consisting of 18 culturally diverse individuals appointed by the governor, the president of the Florida Senate, and the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. The legislation required the PRTF to submit a report of its findings and date-specific recommendations in the form of an Alzheimer’s disease state plan. The Task Force published the Final Report and Recommendations, State Plan on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Forms of Dementia (ADRD) in August 2013. Although the legislation terminates the task force with the submission of the state plan, the findings and recommendations provide a catalyst to mobilize a state response to this public health crisis and a guide to modernize state policies related to people living with dementia. In 2019, House Bill 449 (Chapter Law 2019-147), Section 430.501 F.S., was enacted, requiring an updated State Alzheimer’s Plan every three years with a separate annual report required. The bill also updated the membership of the state’s Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee, which supports the State Plan development. An updated Alzheimer’s Disease State Plan was published in November 2020.
Florida 2024 Policy Priorities
Improve Access to Biomarker Testing
With the historic Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of treatments that slow the progression of Alzheimer’s in the early stages, early detection and diagnosis is even more critical to ensure individuals receive the most benefit at the earliest point possible. Biomarkers offer one of the most promising paths to improve dementia detection, diagnosis and treatment. Yet these critical tests remain out of reach for many as insurance coverage is failing to keep pace with innovations and advancements in treatments. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging state lawmakers to expand insurance coverage of comprehensive biomarker testing. Without this legislation, dementia diagnoses may take up to two years, increasing the long-term costs to the individual, family and the state.
Empower Law Enforcement Officers with Continuous Dementia Training
Law enforcement officers often interact with people living with dementia while searching for a lost individual, rescuing people with dementia from abuse and intervening in crisis or disaster situations. Without proper training to recognize the signs and effectively communicate with people living with dementia, situations may escalate quickly with potentially dangerous consequences. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging state lawmakers to support statutory dementia-specific continuing education for law enforcement officers, including instruction on techniques for recognizing dementia-related behaviors and communication tactics.
Ensure Access to Services from the Alzheimer’s Association Brain Bus
The Brain Bus is a mobile and virtual outreach initiative that prioritizes diverse and underserved populations throughout Florida. This program provides information on healthy living for the brain and body, early detection and diagnosis, caregiver resources and care planning, as well as emergency preparedness. To continue serving all 67 Florida counties and the growing number of Floridians living with dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association is urging state policymakers to continue funding for the Brain Bus.
Establish a Statewide Alzheimer’s Public Awareness Campaign
580,000 Floridians are living with Alzheimer’s, but as many as half of them are not formally diagnosed. It is critical that residents across the state understand the importance of early detection and diagnosis, brain health, risk reduction strategies and the availability of clinical trials. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state lawmakers to support the establishment of a statewide public awareness campaign on Alzheimer’s and other dementia with particular focus on Floridians aged 60 and older and underrepresented populations who are disproportionately affected by the disease.
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State Affairs Contact: Alex Anderson
Email: [email protected]
people living with Alzheimer’s in Florida
Floridians are providing unpaid care
Medicaid cost of caring for people living with Alzheimer’s (2020)
deaths from Alzheimer’s disease in 2019
in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia
increase of geriatricians in Florida needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in Florida
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 Florida policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.