Texas State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
In March 2009, the Texas Council on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders and the Texas Department of State Health Services Alzheimer’s Disease Program formed a steering committee charged with developing the state's response to Alzheimer’s disease. Working with a statewide partnership, representatives from the health care sector, community organizations, academia, state agencies, businesses and families impacted by Alzheimer’s drafted Putting the Pieces Together: A Comprehensive Plan for Addressing the Burden of Alzheimer’s Disease in Texas 2010-2015. The plan was published in September 2010. As a result of Senate Bill 999 passed in 2019, the Texas Department of State Health Services was required to collaborate with stakeholders to develop a new five-year state plan. In 2019, the Texas Department of State Health Services released the 2019-2023 State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Texas 2024 Policy Priorities
Improving Dementia Awareness Among Primary Care Physicians
Primary care physicians play an important role in early detection and diagnosis, either diagnosing cognitive impairment issues themselves or making referrals to a specialist for further assessment. With a shortage of medical specialists to meet the current and future needs for Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Texas, primary care physicians will play an increasingly important role in caring for individuals across the disease continuum. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state lawmakers and state agencies to create an awareness and education campaign for primary care physicians on the importance of providing an early and accurate diagnosis for Texans across the state.
Ensure Implementation of Dementia Training Requirements
Following tremendous advocacy, the 88th Texas Legislature passed legislation requiring assisted living facility staff to receive four hours of dementia training and pass a competency exam before providing care to residents living with dementia. To further ensure that residents with dementia receive care from properly trained staff, the Alzheimer’s Association is urging the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to implement rules for assisted living facilities that are congruent to the passed legislation.
Spread Dementia Awareness Across Texas
In 2023, Texas lawmakers appropriated $5.5 million to the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Alzheimer’s Disease Program (ADP). The Alzheimer’s Disease Program works to provide substantial support for Texans affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging DSHS to use a portion of ADP funding to establish a grants program for local public health agencies and Area Agencies on Aging on increasing awareness of Alzheimer’s and other dementia and emphasizing the importance of early detection and diagnosis.
Update the State Alzheimer’s Plan
By 2025, the number of Texans living with Alzheimer’s is estimated to increase by 22.5%. Texas needs an updated state Alzheimer’s plan bringing all of the key state officials and private-sector stakeholders together to outline a comprehensive and coordinated approach to addressing the growing prevalence of Alzheimer’s and other dementia. As part of a statutory requirement, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) must update the state plan every five years. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on DSHS and external stakeholders to create and publish the 2024-2029 state Alzheimer’s plan. An updated plan ensures a continued focus on Alzheimer’s and other dementia when administrations or agency leadership change.
Texas State Advocacy Week
Join fellow advocates from June 3-7, 2024 for a week of powerful state advocacy! Advocates will participate in district meetings and urge support for our policy priorities with state legislators, informing them on the issues facing Texans impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementia.
Sign Up to Learn About Advocacy Opportunities in Texas
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: Melissa Sanchez
Email: [email protected]
people living with Alzheimer’s in Texas
Texans 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 Texas needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in Texas
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 Texas policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.