Increase Public Awareness, Early Detection And Diagnosis

Addressing Alzheimer's as a Public Health Issue: Implement the Healthy Brain Initiative Road Map

Improving the quality of care for people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias starts with an early, documented diagnosis, including disclosure of the diagnosis. However, most people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia are not aware of their diagnosis. Evidence shows that only about half of people with Alzheimer's have been diagnosed. Among those seniors who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia, only 33 percent are even aware that they have the disease. Even when including caregivers, 45 percent of those diagnosed with Alzheimer's or their caregivers are aware of the diagnosis. Early detection and diagnosis gives families impacted by Alzheimer's the most time to plan, prepare and address the challenges of living with dementia. The Alzheimer's Association encourages the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) to: 1) Educate health care providers on the importance of early detection and timely diagnosis of cognitive impairment; 2) Conduct culturally-appropriate public health campaigns among the public to increase understanding and awareness of early warning signs of Alzheimer's and other dementias; 3) Incorporate messages on brain health in existing public health campaigns, particularly among diverse communities who are at greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease; 4) Collect data on Alzheimer's disease, cognitive decline and caregiving through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

Build a Dementia-Capable Workforce

Improve Training Standards for First Responders

First responders frequently interact with individuals who have dementia in a variety of settings and are among the first to observe instances of abuse and neglect. Yet most first responders receive little or no formal training to prepare them for the unique physical, behavioral and communications challenges related to people with dementia.Training improvements for first responders will help reduce elder abuse and neglect as well as increase the rate of reporting. In 2019, the Alzheimer's Association will pursue legislation in Delaware that requires training for law enforcement personnel regarding the recognition of individuals with cognitive impairment, effective intervention in cases involving the abuse and exploitation of individuals who are cognitively impaired and securing the safety of abused and exploited individuals with dementia.

Delaware State Plan Overview

In early 2012 the Alzheimer's Association Delaware Valley Chapter coordinated a meeting with Governor Jack Markell, Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services Rita Landgraf, and Director of the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD) Bill Love. During the meeting, there was a consensus about the importance of mapping out a strategy to address Alzheimer's disease in Delaware, and a decision was made to begin working on the development of an Alzheimer's state plan. The Alzheimer's Association and DSAAPD established a Task Force, comprised of caregivers, advocates, and professionals representing a broad range of organizations. With support from DSAAPD staff, the Task Force published the Delaware State Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders in December 2013. 


Delaware State Advocacy Day

May 15, 2019

Join the Alzheimer's Association for the 2019 Delaware Advocacy Day. Enjoy breakfast with us, learn about our policy priorities in the First State and share your story with legislators.

2020 Advocacy Forum

March 22-24, 2020

As an Alzheimer's advocate, you've worked to advance critical public policy, making a difference in the lives of all those impacted by Alzheimer's. Together we've achieved great increases in federal Alzheimer's research funding and secured critical advances in care and support. But we can't take our successes for granted — we need to keep the pressure on.

Join us in Washington for an inspiring three-day event filled with networking, training and education.

Be part of the movement that's making a difference in the fight against Alzheimer's.

Sign Up to Learn More About Advocacy Opportunities in Delaware

Sign me up to participate in the upcoming State Advocacy Day!

State Affairs Contact Katie Macklin | 2153999204 | [email protected]

Elected Officials

Enter your address here to see your elected officials' positions on Alzheimer's and ways you can contact them to support the Alzheimer's community.

Alzheimer's Facts and Figures in Delaware

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
2019 3,200 8,300 7,100 19,000
2025 3,900 11,000 8,200 23,000

Percentage change from 2019




Medicaid costs of caring for people with Alzheimer's (2019)


change in costs from 2019 to 2025



per capita Medicare spending on people with dementia (in 2018 dollars)

HOSPICE (2016)



of people in hospice have a primary diagnosis of dementia


of people in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia

Hospitals (2015)



of emergency department visits per 1,000 people with dementia


dementia patient hospital readmission rate



Number of Caregivers


Total Hours of Unpaid Care


Total Value of Unpaid Care


Higher Health Costs of Caregivers

Number of Deaths from Alzheimer's Disease (2017)


6th leading cause of death in Delaware
243% increase in Alzheimer's deaths since 2000

For more information, view the 2019 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report at

U.S. Statistics

Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, and as many as 14 million will have the disease in 2050. The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias is estimated to total $290 billion in 2019, increasing to $1.1 trillion (in today's dollars) by mid-century. Nearly one in every three seniors who dies each year has Alzheimer's or another dementia.