The COVID-19 pandemic presents additional challenges for the more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s and their 16 million caregivers. People living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia are at increased risk of having serious complications relating to COVID-19 due to their age and likelihood of coexisting conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults and those with serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease are at higher risk of getting very sick from the coronavirus. More than 95% of people living with Alzheimer’s have one or more other chronic conditions. This includes 38% of people with Alzheimer’s that also have heart disease and 37% that also have diabetes. More must be done to meet the urgent needs of this vulnerable population.
AIM and the Alzheimer’s Association are sounding the alarm and urging policymakers to act to protect our nation’s most vulnerable. In May, we released a comprehensive set of recommendations for state and federal lawmakers to implement new policy solutions which will address the immediate and long-term issues impacting care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic Learn More.
As Congress continues to develop and enact legislation to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, AIM and the Alzheimer’s Association continue to support legislation and policy priorities that can have a meaningful impact on the millions of families affected by Alzheimer’s and all dementia, and the Alzheimer’s Association’s ability to serve them during this crisis and beyond. We encourage Congress to incorporate the following bipartisan priorities into forthcoming relief packages:
While state governments are at the forefront of the COVID-19 response, the response to the crisis in nursing homes and assisted living communities has not been sufficiently prioritized by state officials. Across the country, AIM and the Alzheimer's Association are engaging Governors, state agency officials, long-term care (LTC) providers and other stakeholders to identify the most pressing issues and related solutions so that they are better equipped to address the crisis in LTC settings.
Recent state advocacy efforts have led state governments to:
Once the immediate crisis in long-term care settings is curbed, critical work will need to continue to ensure that people with dementia receive high quality care as the fall-out from the pandemic evolves. AIM and the Alzheimer’s Association calls on state governments to:
Dementia-Specific Public Health Resources
Dementia-Specific Resources for Professional and Family Care Providers
The following letters have been sent to Capitol Hill regarding policy provisions that would impact the Alzheimer’s and dementia community.
Urges Congress to include investment in public health infrastructure to prepare for the next pandemic in forthcoming relief packages.
Urges Congress to increase funding to the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) to respond to the growing needs in the midst of COVID-19.
Letter to Senate Leadership urging inclusion of provisions that would support individuals with dementia in forthcoming relief packages.
Thank You to Congressional Leadership for including provisions in the CARES Act (H.R. 748) that will benefit people with dementia and their families.
Letter to Congressional leadership regarding nonprofit provisions of the CARES Act (H.R. 748) that will benefit America’s charitable nonprofits.
Urges congressional leadership to extend the Independence at Home demonstration program in forthcoming relief packages.
Letter from Harry Johns to congressional leadership regarding the impact of COVID-19 on charitable nonprofits.
Letter to congressional leadership urging additional federal action to support older adults, their families, unpaid caregivers, as well as health and social services workers during COVID-19.
Request for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) action to better protect nursing facility residents.
AIM and the Alzheimer's Association submitted a statement for the record for the Senate HELP Committee's June 17, 2020 hearing on telehealth.
AIM and the Alzheimer's Association submitted a statement for the record to the House Energy and Commerce Committee for their June 17, 2020 hearing on racial and ethnic disparities and COVID-19.
Letter to sponsor of the HEROES Act in support of included provisions which would have an impact on those living with dementia and their families.
AIM and the Alzheimer's Association submitted a statement for the record to the Senate Aging Committee for their June 11, 2020 hearing on social isolation.
Letter to Congress regarding COVID-19 impact on charitable nonprofits.
AIM and the Alzheimer's Association submitted a statement for the record to the Senate Aging Committee's May 21, 2020 hearing on COVID-19 and caring for older Americans.
AIM and the Alzheimer's Association submitted a statement for the record to the Senate HELP Committee for their June 23, 2020 hearing on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.
AIM and the Alzheimer's Association submitted a statement for the record to the House Energy and Commerce Committee's June 23, 2020 hearing on oversight of the Trump Administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
AIM and the Alzheimer's Association submitted a statement for the record to the House Ways and Means Committee's June 25, 2020 hearing on COVID-19 in Nursing Homes.
Coalition letter to Secretary Azar urging the Secretary to show strong support for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the pandemic.
AIM and the Alzheimer's Association submitted a statement for the record to the House Energy and Commerce Committee's July 7, 2020 hearing on the impact of COVID-19 in Tribal Communities.