Michigan State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
In 2003, the Michigan Dementia Plan Steering Committee released the state’s first Dementia Plan in partnership with the Department of Community Health. The Committee, which was composed of state agency, academic and advocacy organizations, and health care providers gathered significant stakeholder feedback to issue recommendations around public health, dementia training, caregiver support and access to home- and community-based services (HCBS). The Michigan Dementia Coalition — a collaborative group of community agencies, universities, dementia caregivers, and state government officials concerned about dementia and related conditions — led the development of the Michigan Dementia Plan Update: 2009-2011 and the 2019-2022 Roadmap for Creating a Dementia Capable Michigan. The recent Roadmap calls for increased access to HCBS, support for caregivers and an increase in the number of geriatricians practicing in the state.
Michigan 2024 Policy Priorities
Empower Public Guardians with Dementia Training
Due to the impact of dementia on a person’s ability to make decisions and in the absence of other advanced directives, people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia may need the assistance of a guardian. Once appointed, a guardian may make decisions for the individual that relate to the person’s health, well-being and economic interest. With such responsibility, it is imperative that appointed guardians receive dementia-specific training. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on Michigan lawmakers to amend House Bill 5047, which would create the Office of the State Guardian Board, require annual dementia training for court-appointed guardians and ensure the Office of the State Guardian Board serves as an autonomous entity in the Department of Health and Human Services.
Increase Funding for the Dementia Unit
Following tremendous advocacy in 2022, state lawmakers designated $400,000 in funding to make Michigan's Dementia Unit operational within the Department of Health and Human Services. The Dementia Unit is responsible for coordinating the state’s response to dementia across state government. To ensure the Dementia Unit can continue coordinating efforts and expand services that support people living with dementia and their caregivers, the Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state lawmakers to increase state funding for the Dementia Unit by $2 million.
Educate Michiganders on Alzheimer’s and Dementia
190,000 Michiganders are living with Alzheimer’s, but as many as half of them are not formally diagnosed. An early and accurate diagnosis of dementia can improve access to care and support services, enhance quality of life and reduce the financial impact of the condition. However, residents across Michigan need access to information about obtaining a timely diagnosis, care planning and risk reduction strategies. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state lawmakers to support the creation of a public awareness campaign to increase the public’s understanding of Alzheimer’s and reduce the stigma of the disease. The campaign will have a particular focus on rural and underserved communities that are disproportionately affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementia.
Improve Visitation Rights for Families and Caregivers
People living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia make up a large proportion of the residents in long-term care settings — 48% of nursing home residents and 42% of individuals in residential care facilities across the country have Alzheimer’s or another dementia. In Michigan, some caregivers and family members are facing issues when attempting to visit their loved ones residing in certain nursing homes and adult foster care facilities. To prevent social isolation, the Alzheimer’s Association is urging state lawmakers and state agencies to remove barriers that prevent caregivers and family members from visiting a loved one living with dementia in long-term care facilities.
Michigan State Advocacy Day
Join advocates on Tuesday, May 7, 2024 at the state capitol for State Advocacy Day! Advocates will have the opportunity to share their stories with state legislators and urge their support for policy solutions that address the needs of Michiganders living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia and their families.
Sign Up to Learn About Advocacy Opportunities in Michigan
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: Greg Bird
Email: [email protected]
people living with Alzheimer’s in Michigan
Michiganders 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 Michigan needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in Michigan
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 Michigan policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.