Pennsylvania State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
In February 2013, Governor Tom Corbett issued Executive Order 2013-01 to establish the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Disease Planning Committee. The committee included a Pennsylvanian living with Alzheimer’s disease, family members and caregivers of people living with dementia, the aging network, other state agencies, providers from across the care continuum, leading researchers in pursuit of a cure and better care, and members of the legislature. Chaired by the secretary of the Department of Aging, the Planning Committee gathered public input from across the state to inform their recommendations. The Pennsylvania State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders was published in February 2014. The Department of Aging is currently focused on the implementation of the state plan and hosts an Annual Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Forum each fall.
Pennsylvania 2022 Policy Priorities
Ensure a Public Health Approach to Address Alzheimer’s and Dementia in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania released its first comprehensive Alzheimer’s State Plan in 2014, and a Task Force was appointed through the Department of Aging in May 2018 to lead implementation. Unfortunately, little progress has been made to improve the state’s overall approach to addressing Alzheimer’s. This growing public health crisis drains the physical, emotional and financial health of all impacted, including state government resources. Different government agencies administer a variety of programs critical to people living with dementia, and these efforts are often siloed with multiple state agencies working separately from one another. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state lawmakers to create an Alzheimer’s Division within the Department of Health with a full-time director, codify an Alzheimer’s Advisory Committee, and implement the Alzheimer’s State Plan.
Equip Pennsylvania With a Dementia-Capable Workforce
Individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia have unique needs that often make care delivery, communication and interaction more challenging. Direct care workers in long-term care settings, in-home services and adult day settings often do not have sufficient dementia-specific knowledge to effectively support those living with the disease. Additionally, adult protective services workers, law enforcement and first responders are among the first to respond and interact with individuals living with dementia regarding emergencies, abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging state policymakers to prioritize a dementia-capable workforce and support policies that provide competency-based dementia training for all direct care workers and dementia-specific training for adult protective service workers, law enforcement personnel and first responders.
Protect Residents In Long-Term Care Settings From COVID-19 and Social Isolation
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, long-term care residents, their families and staff have faced new challenges. For those living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, maintaining a daily routine and receiving person-centered care is critical to their overall cognitive, physical and behavioral health. The Alzheimer’s Association is continuing to work with state leaders to ensure people living with dementia have access to high quality, person-centered care while ensuring appropriate prevention and mitigation strategies remain in place.
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State Affairs Contact: Jennifer Ebersole
Email: [email protected]
people living with Alzheimer’s in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvanians are providing unpaid care
Medicaid cost of caring for people living with Alzheimer’s (2020)
increase in Alzheimer’s deaths since 2000
in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia
increase of geriatricians in Pennsylvania needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in Pennsylvania
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 Pennsylvania policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.