Make Michigan’s Dementia Unit Permanent

More than 190,000 Michiganders are currently living with dementia, a chronic disease that creates numerous health, financial, and emotional challenges for families and communities across the state. In 2021, the legislature appropriated $400,000 for Michigan’s first ever dementia unit to help meet the challenges that dementia creates for individuals and families. The appropriation for the unit was included in the “one-time” funding portion of the budget, which means that Michigan may not make the long-term investment required to address dementia in our state. Michigan already makes this sort of commitment to various other chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on the legislature to make Michigan’s Dementia Unit a priority and expand funding and make the Dementia Unit permanent.

Improve Access to Dementia Care

Treatment and support for dementia relies on the timely detection and diagnosis of the condition by health professionals with the training necessary to identify and care for patients with a dementia diagnosis. Geriatricians and neurologists are key specialties in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Currently, many areas in Michigan face a shortage in the number of physicians trained in these specialties. Residents living in many areas of the state face delays in getting treatment or travel long distances to get the care they need. The Michigan Essential Provider Program facilitates the placement and retention of designated professionals in health resource shortage areas and is achieved via a program of loan repayment for physicians. The Alzheimer’s Association urges the state to expand the definition of which medical specialties qualify for the Michigan Essential Provider Program to include Neurology and Geriatrics.

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 26, 2022

The Alzheimer's Association's Michigan State Advocacy Day is an opportunity for advocates to speak with their state legislators about the needs of those living with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias and their families. Join fellow Alzheimer’s advocates on April 26th, 2022 to rally state lawmakers to make Michigan’s Dementia Unit permanent and improve access for dementia care. Never advocated before? No problem! We’ll train you and there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions before meeting with state officials.

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 2021. In Michigan, there are 466,000 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.