Congressional Profiles

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Advance Alzheimer's Policy

Establish a Dementia Coordinator Position in the Department of Health

Arkansas needs to invest in establishing a full time Dementia Coordinator position within the Arkansas Department of Health, similar to what the state already has to oversee the implementation of the Diabetes Disease Plan. Numerous state agencies administer a variety of programs critical to people with dementia, such as Medicaid, respite care, public health, and Silver Alert. Additional critical state efforts include regulatory oversight pertaining to the licensure of care facilities, enforcement of training requirements, and elder abuse protections. But, these efforts are often siloed, with multiple state agencies working separately from each other. Active coordination between all state agencies, the governor, the legislature, and community stakeholders will ensure that Arkansas is addressing Alzheimer’s as a public health crisis and reduce the long-term impact of the disease on the state budget while improving the lives of people with dementia and their caregivers.

Advance Alzheimer's Policy

Update the Arkansas Alzheimer's Disease State Plan

Alzheimer’s is a large and growing public health crisis that state policymakers cannot ignore. Each state has its own unique gaps and needs, and a state-specific plan can recommend tailored policies to better serve those living with dementia and their families. Arkansas’ State Alzheimer’s Plan was published in 2011 and is out-of-date. It is critical that Arkansas conducts a current, comprehensive needs assessment and produces a set of timely recommendations that lawmakers and stakeholders can implement, to meet the unique needs of the individuals and families living with dementia in our state.

Arkansas State Plan Overview

In 2009, the Task Force on the Effect of Alzheimer's Disease in Arkansas was established via House Bill 1014 to bring together caregivers, public health officials, patient advocates, and community leaders to tackle a range of Alzheimer's issues. After collecting public feedback to inform the plan's recommendations, the Task Force published The Task Force on the Effect of Alzheimer's Disease in Arkansas Final Report in 2011.


Arkansas State Advocacy Day

April 16, 2020

Alzheimer's Awareness Day At The Capitol

Sign Up to Learn More About Advocacy Opportunities in Arkansas

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State Affairs Contact David Cook | 501-253-1931 | [email protected]

Alzheimer's Facts and Figures in Arkansas

Number of People Aged 65 and Older With Alzheimer's by Age

Year 65-74 75-84 85+ TOTAL
* Totals may not add due to rounding
2020 10,000 26,000 23,000 58,000
2025 11,000 31,000 24,000 67,000

Percentage change from 2020




Medicaid costs of caring for people with Alzheimer's (2020)


change in costs from 2020 to 2025



per capita Medicare spending on people with dementia (in 2019 dollars)

HOSPICE (2017)



of people in hospice have a primary diagnosis of dementia


of people in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia



Number of geriatricians in 2019


increase needed to meet Alzheimer's population needs in 2050

Hospitals (2017)



of emergency department visits per 1,000 people with dementia


dementia patient hospital readmission rate


increase in emergency deparment visits since 2007


178 Thousand

Number of Caregivers

203 Million

Total Hours of Unpaid Care

$2.66 Billion

Total Value of Unpaid Care

Number of Deaths from Alzheimer's Disease (2018)

1,457 total deaths in Arkansas
6th leading cause of death in Arkansas
8th highest Alzheimer's death rate in America
239% increase in Alzheimer's deaths since 2000

For more information, view the 2020 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report at

U.S. Statistics

Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, and as many as 13.8 million will have the disease in 2050. The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias is estimated to total $305 billion in 2020, increasing to $1.1 trillion (in today's dollars) by mid-century. Nearly 1 in 3 seniors who dies each year has Alzheimer's or another dementia.