Creation of Michigan’s first Dementia Unit

Michigan needs an advocate within state government to coordinate necessary state services for people living with and impacted by Alzheimer’s and all dementia. A dementia coordinator position within a new Dementia Unit at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services would take the lead in developing and updating the Alzheimer’s State Plan. With 190,000 Michiganders living with Alzheimer’s and over 500,000 caregivers providing needed care to these vulnerable residents, we need to ensure state government fully represents and serves all those impacted by this disease. With dedicated staff already in place for many other chronic diseases, we are calling on state government leaders to establish a permanent dementia coordinator position to advocate policy, secure federal funding, and leverage additional resources to better respond to the unique requirements and opportunities to address Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

Expanding Access to Geriatrics and Neurology

The Michigan Essential Provider Program offers loan forgiveness to physicians and other health professionals that locate in underserved areas. However, Neurology and Geriatrics, two key specialties in the diagnosis and treatment of dementia, are not currently included in this program. The diagnosis of Alzheimer's and other dementia is often a barrier for treatment and a source of frustration for family members. Increasing the number of professionals trained in these specialties is an important step in addressing this concern over the long term. We support forthcoming legislation to add neurology and geriatrics to the list of eligible providers to ultimately increase access to care for people with dementia.

Protect Residents In Long Term Care Settings by Mitigating the Risk of COVID-19 and Addressing Social Isolation

The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementia, and is creating pressing challenges for long-term care (LTC) communities and residents, where people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias represent a large proportion of LTC residents. There are also growing concerns that social isolation among people with dementia has contributed to individual decline and stress among family caregivers who cannot assess the health of their loved ones. To best support individuals living with Alzheimer’s and dementia during the pandemic, the Alzheimer’s Association has released a comprehensive set of long-term care policy recommendations for lawmakers focused on testing, reporting, surge activation, and providing support. The Alzheimer’s Association will continue to urge state policymakers to prioritize long-term care in the COVID-19 response.

Michigan State Plan Overview

In 2003, the Michigan Dementia Plan Steering Committee released the state’s first Dementia Plan in partnership with the Department of Community Health. The Committee, which was composed of state agency, academic and advocacy organizations, and health care providers gathered significant stakeholder feedback to issue recommendations around public health, dementia training, caregiver support and access to home and community based services (HCBS). The Michigan Dementia Coalition - a collaborative group of community agencies, universities, dementia caregivers, and state government officials concerned about dementia and related conditions - led the development of the Michigan Dementia Plan Update: 2009-2011 and the 2019-2022 Roadmap for Creating a Dementia Capable Michigan. The recent Roadmap calls for increased access to HCBS, support for caregivers, and an increase in the number of geriatricians practicing in the state.


Michigan State Advocacy Day

April 27, 2021

Make your voice heard and join with fellow advocates from across the state to encourage legislators to support people living with Alzheimer's and other dementias. Take this opportunity to urge legislators to support a statewide dementia coordinator position, improve access to physicians in underserved areas, and prioritize rapid testing of people living and working in residential care facilities.

Sign Up to Learn More About Advocacy Opportunities in Michigan

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

State Affairs Contact Colin Ford | 5174201060 [email protected]

Alzheimer's Facts and Figures in Michigan

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 Michigan

This number is projected to increase 15.8% 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 Michigan in 2019

couple hugging on bench

There has been a 171% increase in Alzheimer's deaths since 2000. Alzheimer's is the 6th leading cause of death in Michigan.

There were 1,554 more deaths than expected from Alzheimer's and dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, 19% 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 Michigan, there are 463,000 dementia caregivers, who each provide an average of 20 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 alz.org/facts to view the full report.