Georgia

GEORGIA 2021 STATE POLICY PRIORITIES

Reduce Costly Long-Term Care by Investing in Home & Community Based Services

Medicaid expenditures in Georgia for people with dementia is expected to increase 26% over the next five years. Much of that expense is associated with costly residential long-term care. Increasing access to home & community based services (HCBS) can delay admission into a LTC setting. Services such as home delivered- meals, personal emergency response systems and adult day health programs help support family caregivers. In 2019 alone, 540,000 dementia caregivers provided over 600 million hours of unpaid care. The Alzheimer’s Association, Georgia Chapter supports the Coalition of Advocates for Georgia’s Elderly (CO-AGE) request for a $10 Million increase in HCBS funding for the Fiscal Year 2022 budget. It is critical that the General Assembly invest in home & community based programs now to ensure Georgians can remain in their communities for as long as possible.

Ensure Disaster Planning Equity

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to prioritize vulnerable populations more effectively when planning for disaster response. The elderly, especially those living with dementia, have borne the brunt of this pandemic, as evidenced by the death rates among people 65 and over. In addition, the CDC excess death statistics indicate significantly higher deaths in 2020 attributable to Alzheimer’s and dementia than previous years. Georgia’s excess death rate due to Alzheimer’s and dementia was 26% higher through October than the average over the previous five years. The Alzheimer's Association, along with the Coalition of Advocates for Georgia’s Elderly (CO-AGE), are urging the legislature to address disaster planning equity by ensuring that vulnerable populations and the providers that serve them are prioritized.

Secure final approval of the 2020-2023 Georgia Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias State Plan (GARD) Update

Throughout 2020, the Alzheimer’s Association in partnership with the the GARD Collaborative, the GARD Advisory Council and other stakeholders, revised and refined the content of the original GARD State Plan that was signed in 2014 by Governor Deal. The updated Plan includes measurable goals and reduces overlap between the established committees’ work in order to ensure a more coordinated response to Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging Governor Kemp to approve the Updated Plan to then enable prompt implementation of the recommendations.

Secure a Memory Care Certification Ladder-Up Program within the CNA Curriculum

With the passage of HB 987 in 2020, Alzheimer’s advocates secured a significant improvement in the dementia training requirements for all assisted living staff with enhanced training now required for memory care providers. The Alzheimer’s Association will continue working with the Department of Community Health to ensure the effective implementation of this new law which is set to take effect on July 1, 2021. In addition, the Alzheimer’s Association will continue our collaboration with the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) to improve the quantity and quality of the dementia training portion of the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program. With the CNA program now available tuition free through the HOPE Career Grant program at TCSG, the Alzheimer’s Association will work with TCSG to seek the development of a memory-care certification to ensure we have a workforce ready to serve the growing dementia population in Georgia.



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 01, 2021

Join fellow Alzheimer’s advocates for an exciting week of virtual advocacy urging Georgia state lawmakers to support people with dementia and their families. Over the course of a week, we will have a series of informative and engaging virtual events for all individuals and families who want to support our efforts. We will kickoff our Alzheimer’s Awareness Week on Monday, March 1st with a virtual event, in which we will provide an overview of our legislative priorities and hear directly from advocates and state officials leading our efforts. Throughout the remainder of the week, we will advocate on multiple fronts, including through virtual meetings, phone calls, tweets, and emails, to ensure our legislators understand the importance of supporting critical Alzheimer’s issues. Much more is planned so don’t miss out!


Sign Up to Learn More About Advocacy Opportunities in Georgia


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

State Affairs Contact MaryLea Boatwright Quinn | 7708561536 [email protected]



Alzheimer's Facts and Figures in Georgia

Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures, an annual report released by the Alzheimer's Association®, reveals the burden of Alzheimer's and dementia on individuals, caregivers, government and the nation's health care system.


Prevalence



woman holding glasses

150,000

Individuals living with Alzheimer's in Georgia


This number is projected to increase 26.7% between 2020 and 2025.

Nationally, there are more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer's. This number is expected to more than double by 2050.

Mortality


4,221

Deaths from Alzheimer's in Georgia in 2019

couple hugging on bench

There has been a 242% increase in Alzheimer's deaths since 2000. Alzheimer's is the 6th leading cause of death in Georgia.

There were 1,716 more deaths than expected from Alzheimer's and dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, 23% higher than average.


Caregiving



caregiver hugging

Value of unpaid care work

Hours of unpaid care


Nationally, Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers provided nearly $257 billion in unpaid care in 2020. In Georgia, there are 334,000 dementia caregivers, who each provide an average of 37 hours of unpaid care per week

Costs

Medicare

$26,188

per capita Medicare spending on people with dementia

Medicaid

$1,265,000,000

Medicaid costs of caring for people with Alzheimer's in 2020

Hospice and Hospitals



10,435

# of people in hospice with a primary diagonsis of dementia


1,573

# of emergency department visits per 1,000 people with dementia


People with Alzheimer's disease have twice as many hospital stays per year as other older people. Nationally, emergency department visits for those with dementia have increased nearly 30% over the past decade.


The 2021 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report contains data on the impact of Alzheimer's on the nation and in every state across the country.
Visit alz.org/facts to view the full report.