Iowa State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
In 2007, the Iowa Legislature established a task force through the enactment of Senate File 489 to assess the current and future impact of Alzheimer’s disease on residents, examine the existing resources available, and develop a strategy to mobilize a state response to the growing threat of Alzheimer’s disease. The task force included representatives from the long-term care industry, community organizations, and state agencies as well as state legislators, caregivers, and individuals directly impacted by Alzheimer’s. After collecting testimony from advocacy groups and individuals to inform the plan's recommendations, the task force published the Final Report: Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force in January 2008.
In 2011, through the passage of House File 390, the Iowa Legislature established the Alzheimer’'s Work Group to identify strategies, action steps, and stakeholders to respond to the needs of Iowans living with Alzheimer's and other dementia. The Work Group was additionally tasked with implementing a state government infrastructure dedicated to serving people living with dementia, creating partnerships to implement strategies, and providing recommendations for data collection. The Work Group presented their findings by publishing the Alzheimer's Disease Response Strategy report in 2011.
Iowa 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.
Establish Dementia Service Specialists Across the State
Dementia can cause unique challenges — both for people living with the condition and their caregivers. Individuals diagnosed or caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s have to navigate a complex network of resources and benefits to meet their care needs. With the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease projected to increase in Iowa by nearly 11% by 2025, Iowa needs a stronger infrastructure for providing accessible support to individuals living with dementia and their caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging state legislators to appropriate $750,000 to establish a statewide Dementia Service Specialist Program. This program will be administered through Iowa’s six Area Agencies on Aging and will bring dementia-specific expertise to local communities. Dementia service specialists will focus on providing caregiver support and community education, increasing awareness, and building partnerships with local health care providers and practitioners.
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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: Doug Bickford
Email: [email protected]
people living with Alzheimer’s in Iowa
Iowans are providing unpaid care
Medicaid cost of caring for people living with Alzheimer’s (2020)
deaths from Alzheimer’s in 2019
in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia
increase of geriatricians in Iowa needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in Iowa
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 Iowa policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.