Expand Awareness about Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Dementia

Early detection of dementia and Alzheimer’s means individuals receive better medical care and health outcomes and can plan for future needs, secure medical desires and make their wishes known. Research suggests that a large number of people living with Alzheimer’s are not properly diagnosed and many are unaware of their diagnosis. Additionally, there is evidence that African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos with dementia are less likely to have a diagnosis than whites, even though they are 1.5- 2 times more likely to have the disease. The Alzheimer’s Association supports legislation that requires the Maryland Department of Health--in coordination with the Virginia I. Jones Alzheimer's and Related Disorders Commission, the Maryland Department of Aging, and the Alzheimer's Association--to conduct outreach to engage clinicians and individuals in Black and Latino communities about important issues such as: early detection, diagnosis, and the Medicare annual wellness visit.

Empower Home Health Workers with Dementia Training

Home health workers play a critical role in keeping individuals living with Alzheimer's safe and healthy in their homes and communities. These individuals provide companionship, basic medical services and enable people with dementia to stay in their most familiar and intimate environment. However, without proper training on how to recognize the signs of dementia and how to effectively communicate with people with dementia, the quality of care may decline. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on legislators to support forthcoming legislation in Maryland that will require ongoing dementia-specific training for home care workers on understanding specific behavior symptoms, effective communication strategies, and person-centered care.

Setting a Framework for Memory Care in Maryland's Assisted Living Facilities

Maryland does not currently regulate or even define “memory care” or “special care units.” This has created a great deal of confusion for consumers about the disparate level of services that can be advertised as “memory care.” The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state legislators to require the Maryland Department of Health to address memory care in its forthcoming update to the state’s Assisted Living regulations. The state must consider critical issues such as admissions/discharge criteria and staffing ratios in order to support people with dementia and their families seeking high quality care in specialized memory care units across the state.

Maryland State Plan Overview

In 2011, Governor Martin O'Malley issued executive order 01.01.2011.21 establishing the Virginia I. Jones Commission on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders to evaluate the impact of Alzheimer’s in Maryland and issue a State Plan with recommendations for state policymakers. The Commission, which included caregivers, health care providers, community organizations, and state agencies, published the Maryland State Plan on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders in December 2012.


In October 2013, the legislature established the Virginia I. Jones Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Council into law (Chapter 305, Acts of 2013) to continue the work of the previous Commission. The Council's charge included monitoring the 2012 Maryland State Plan on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders devised by the Commission. In reviewing State statutes, policies and programs, the Council was to improve and enhance quality of life and support, and services for individuals living with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders and their families, by promoting and expanding the availability and accessibility of home- and community-based support and service programs.

In 2019, the state enacted legislation (Chapter 410 of 2019) extending authorization of the Council to 2024 and expanding its charge to update and advocate for the Maryland State Plan on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders. The Council will also now examine the needs of individuals with Alzheimer's Disease and related disorders and their caregivers identify how the State can assist most effectively and advise the Governor and General Assembly on Alzheimer’s related policy and funding issues. The Council is also now charged with developing and promoting strategies that encourage brain health and reduce cognitive decline.


Maryland State Advocacy Day

March 01, 2021

Join your fellow Maryland Alzheimer’s advocates for an opportunity to engage elected officials, and advocate for a better future for Maryland residents with Alzheimer's and dementia.

Sign Up to Learn More About Advocacy Opportunities in Maryland

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

State Affairs Contact Eric Colchamiro | 202-365-6612 [email protected]

Alzheimer's Facts and Figures in Maryland

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.


woman holding glasses


Individuals living with Alzheimer's in Maryland

This number is projected to increase 18.2% 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.



Deaths from Alzheimer's in Maryland in 2019

couple hugging on bench

There were 780 more deaths than expected from Alzheimer's and dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, 18% higher than average.


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 Maryland, there are 238,000 dementia caregivers, who each provide an average of 29 hours of unpaid care per week




per capita Medicare spending on people with dementia



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

Hospice and Hospitals


# of people in hospice with a primary diagonsis of dementia


# 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 to view the full report.