Georgia

GEORGIA 2020 STATE POLICY PRIORITIES

Build a Dementia-Capable Workforce

Georgians Living with Dementia Deserve Quality Care. The Right Care.

Throughout the past several months, the Atlanta Journal Constitution's investigative series, “Unprotected” [https://www.ajc.com/senior-care-quality-report/] has uncovered issues in the quality of care in residential settings across the state. One thing is abundantly clear - Georgia must do better. People receiving services in settings licensed by the state should be confident that those services are being provided by adequately trained professionals from the direct care staff to the administration. 42% of residents in these settings (assisted living and personal care homes) have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's. We must assure families that staff in these settings are able to provide quality care. The Alzheimer's Association is calling on the legislature to ensure that our direct care workforce has competency-based, quality training that will equip them to provide the best care possible to all older adults and especially those impacted by dementia, who have unique care needs. Those providing "memory care" should have enhanced training requirements.

Increase Access to Home and Community-Based Services

Support Dementia-Specific Medicaid Services

The Alzheimer's Association, Georgia Chapter testified before the 2019 House Study Committee on Innovative Financial Options for Senior Living. This committee issued a final report was on Friday, January 10, 2020 and included a key recommendation to "encourage the creation of a memory care-focused waiver program with an appropriate reimbursement formula to meet the growing need for those services in a cost-effective manner." We will work to share information with legislators about the growing number of people needing these dementia-competent and dementia-specific services in Georgia, while also encouraging the state to take the necessary steps to create dementia-specific Medicaid services as recommended by this House study committee.



Georgia State Plan Overview

In 2013, the Georgia General Assembly established the Georgia Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias State Plan Task Force through passage of Senate Bill 14 to research the current and future impact of the disease and develop a strategy to mobilize the state response to the growing public health threat posed by Alzheimer's. The Task Force included representatives from state agencies, local health departments, research institutes, law enforcement, care provider associations, elder law, and community organizations as well as state legislators, caregivers, community members, and individuals directly impacted by Alzheimer's. Building upon previous work completed by the Georgia Division of Aging Services, the Task Force solicited public input and drafted the Georgia Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias State Plan. The plan was published in June 2014.



ADVOCACY EVENTS

Georgia State Advocacy Day

March 10, 2020

The 2020 Alzheimer’s Awareness Day at the Georgia State Capitol was rescheduled for Tuesday, March 10, 2020. We had over 90 advocates brave the rain to come and talk to legislators about how to improve care in residential care for people living with dementia by supporting HB 987. They also educated the legislature about the rising costs of Alzheimer's disease to our state's Medicaid budget and how dementia-specific Medicaid services could help! Thank you, advocates! Please text ALZGA to 52886 to be the first to hear about next year's Alzheimer's Awareness Day at the Capitol.


Sign Up to Learn More About Advocacy Opportunities in Georgia


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State Affairs Contact MaryLea Boatwright Quinn | | [email protected]



Elected Officials

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Alzheimer's Facts and Figures in Georgia

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 29,000 69,000 55,000 150,000
2025 33,000 90,000 63,000 190,000

Percentage change from 2020

Medicaid

$1,265

MILLION

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

26.0%

change in costs from 2020 to 2025


Medicare

$24,228

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


HOSPICE (2017)

10,435

#

of people in hospice have a primary diagnosis of dementia


21%

of people in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia

Geriatricians

96

Number of geriatricians in 2019


413%

increase needed to meet Alzheimer's population needs in 2050

Hospitals (2017)

1,569

#

of emergency department visits per 1,000 people with dementia


21.9%

dementia patient hospital readmission rate


17.3%

increase in emergency deparment visits since 2007

Caregiving

540 Thousand

Number of Caregivers



615 Million

Total Hours of Unpaid Care



$8.06 Billion

Total Value of Unpaid Care


Number of Deaths from Alzheimer's Disease (2018)

4,513 total deaths in Georgia
5th leading cause of death in Georgia
265% increase in Alzheimer's deaths since 2000

For more information, view the 2020 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report at alz.org/facts.

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.



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