West Virginia State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
In 2011, the West Virginia legislature directed and funded the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to study the needs, challenges and issues facing West Virginians living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families through the passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 38. Three work groups spearheaded development of policy and program recommendations to improve the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s in West Virginia. The work groups included health care providers, families impacted by Alzheimer’s, public health officials, state legislators, and researchers as well as representatives from local businesses, long-term care providers, state agencies and community organizations. In December 2011, the state Alzheimer’s plan, Make a Plan for Alzheimer’s in West Virginia, was published to serve as an essential guide for policymakers.
West Virginia 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.
Ensure West Virginia is Prepared to Address Alzheimer’s
West Virginia is home to 39,000 individuals living with Alzheimer’s and 65,000 unpaid caregivers. By 2025, the number of West Virginians living with Alzheimer’s is estimated to increase by 12.8%. As the population with dementia grows, a robust statewide response is needed to mitigate the impact. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state lawmakers to establish a permanent Alzheimer’s Council and provide regular updates to the state Alzheimer’s plan, which was last published in 2011. The Alzheimer’s Council will evaluate existing dementia resources and services and recommend policy changes to support West Virginians living with dementia. Engaging stakeholders in the state plan process provides state agency officials with clear direction and will help ensure West Virginia has a coordinated focus on Alzheimer’s and dementia.
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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: Ely Osborne
Email: [email protected]
people living with Alzheimer’s in West Virginia
West Virginians 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 West Virginia needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in West Virginia
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 West Virginia policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.