New Mexico


Increase Public Awareness, Early Detection And Diagnosis

Empowering Health Care Providers to Support Individuals with Alzheimer's and Other Dementias

Data and research have proven the significance of early support for those living with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. That first level of support most often begins with care providers, as they have a critical role in the early detection and timely diagnosis of cognitive impairment in patients. Empowering our providers and clinicians with awareness and knowledge of validated cognitive assessment tools, the Medicare Annual Wellness visit for cognitive health benefit, and the new Medicare care planning billing code for individuals with cognitive impairment is part of a multi-year strategy developed by our Chapter. The strategy includes engaging with state agencies to form meaningful partnerships and to help secure adequate resources necessary to fulfill this initiative.

Increase Public Awareness, Early Detection And Diagnosis

Providing Alzheimer's Education in New Mexico for New Mexico

The prevalence of Alzheimer's is found to be higher among Hispanic and Native Americans population groups when compared to others. This is especially alarming for our state given New Mexico has a large Hispanic and Native American population. Because of this, the Chapter is working to grow its partnerships with relevant state agencies to produce and disseminate culturally-appropriate public health campaigns throughout the state to to drive public awareness of the known early warning signs of Alzheimer's, as well as to share the importance of early detection and diagnosis and annual wellness check-ups.

Increase Public Awareness, Early Detection And Diagnosis

Measuring the Impact of Alzheimer's in New Mexico

Data collection is an essential public health tool for understanding the current prevalence of public health trends, such as Alzheimer's disease. In our state, the New Mexico Department of Health conducts a statewide survey each year called the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which returns key insights on the public health issues facing our communities. Our Chapter in 2018 , as well as in prior years, was selected by the Department to submit a set of questions to be included in the 2019 Survey. These questions will focus on cognitive decline, and the data attained through the Survey will then be used by our Chapter and the appropriate officials and policymakers to measure the impact and to develop an effective and appropriate response.

Build a Dementia-Capable Workforce

Preparing our Health Care Workforce to Address Alzheimer's

New Mexico's percentage of its population age 65 and older will jump from being 29th to the 4th largest in the nation. The time is now for our state to start investing and building a system that will provide for a robust workforce that specializes in gerontology, geriatrics, and dementia. If left unprepared to provide an adequate healthcare workforce for the changing age demographics to come, there could be a shortage crisis that could devastate our state. To help avoid this, our Chapter is engaging our legislature and other state entities, along with education institutions and the private sector, to develop a pipeline that would bolster and sustain a workforce with these needed professionals.

Build a Dementia-Capable Workforce

Ensuring the Quality of Care of Individuals with Alzheimer's

New Mexico workers in dementia care and patients receiving this care would benefit greatly from a state policy that enhances the current training regulations of all direct service, administrative, supervisory, and other staff who are involved in the delivery of care to those with Alzheimer's and other dementias in licensed long-term care facilities, the home, and adult day settings. The need for this policy adoption is critical as seniors with Alzheimer's and other dementias have, on average, twice as many hospitalizations each year and four times as many skilled nursing facility stays as seniors without Alzheimer's. To address this, we will engage and collaborate with partners across all areas of care delivery in the healthcare system to advocate for this necessary regulatory change to build a complete, competent and well trained workforce.

Build a Dementia-Capable Workforce

Preparing Adult Protective Services to Serve People with Alzheimer's

The Association works with first responders and Adult Protective Service Workers to provide them with proven training and education that helps to ensure safe and professional interactions when dealing with someone who shows signs of Alzheimer’s. In New Mexico, we are working with leaders of the first responder community and APS workers to implement this necessary training.

Increase Access to Home and Community-Based Services

Supporting Individuals with Alzheimer's Through Increased HCBS Services

Increasing Medicaid covered programs for person-centered, dementia-competent, and dementia-specific home and community-based services stands to be a cost effective approach for providing for people affected by the disease who prefer to stay in their community and in their home while receiving care. The Alzheimer's Association, NM Chapter understands this and will actively pursue - working with its partners in the public and private sector - strategic policy that would expand access and eligibility to Medicaid home and community based services.

Enhance the Quality of Care in Residential Settings

Addressing Medicaid Reimbursement Rates

The current level that the state reimburses facilities for their Medicaid recipient residents, take those with Alzheimer's as example, is a serious issue for these providers, and families. Simply, the reimbursement rates are too low considering the overall expenses facilities incur when providing around the clock care. By consequence, many facilities are unable to offer admission to people receiving Medicaid, which can create a life changing scenario for families where the only option is to become caregivers themselves. Our Chapter is discussing with our partners, elected officials and the proper state agency about the extreme importance for addressing the current Medicaid reimbursement rates to mitigate this standing issue.

New Mexico State Plan Overview

In 2012, the Alzheimer's Disease Task Force established by House Memorial 20 was convened by the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department to assess the impact of, and make recommendations for, Alzheimer's disease and related dementias within the state. The Task Force was comprised of leaders of state agencies, health care providers, caregivers, individuals living with the disease, as well as representatives from academia and tribal organizations. After collecting input from public town hall meetings to gather plan recommendations, the Task Force published the New Mexico State Plan for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias in 2013. 


New Mexico State Advocacy Day

January 30, 2019

The Alzheimer's Association, New Mexico Chapter held on January 30, 2019, a monumental Alzheimer's Awareness and Advocacy Day at the Roundhouse. Notable activities from the day included a meeting between Governor Lujan Grisham and nearly 75 volunteer advocates of our Chapter. Also, these advocates visited the offices that morning of their legislators to ask for their support on our priority legislation, a bill intended to strengthen the Silver Alert notification system and one that did eventually pass the legislature unanimously. We are looking forward to planning our next Alzheimer's Awareness and Advocacy Day at the Roundhouse next year. Check back for the details in December.

2020 Advocacy Forum

March 22-24, 2020

As an Alzheimer's advocate, you've worked to advance critical public policy, making a difference in the lives of all those impacted by Alzheimer's. Together we've achieved great increases in federal Alzheimer's research funding and secured critical advances in care and support. But we can't take our successes for granted — we need to keep the pressure on.

Join us in Washington for an inspiring three-day event filled with networking, training and education.

Be part of the movement that's making a difference in the fight against Alzheimer's.

Sign Up to Learn More About Advocacy Opportunities in New Mexico

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

State Affairs Contact Tommy Hernandez | 5056044554 | [email protected]

Elected Officials

Enter your address here to see your elected officials' positions on Alzheimer's and ways you can contact them to support the Alzheimer's community.

Alzheimer's Facts and Figures in New Mexico

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
2019 6,800 18,000 16,000 41,000
2025 8,500 25,000 19,000 53,000

Percentage change from 2019




Medicaid costs of caring for people with Alzheimer's (2019)


change in costs from 2019 to 2025



per capita Medicare spending on people with dementia (in 2018 dollars)

HOSPICE (2016)



of people in hospice have a primary diagnosis of dementia


of people in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia

Hospitals (2015)



of emergency department visits per 1,000 people with dementia


dementia patient hospital readmission rate



Number of Caregivers


Total Hours of Unpaid Care


Total Value of Unpaid Care


Higher Health Costs of Caregivers

Number of Deaths from Alzheimer's Disease (2017)


For more information, view the 2019 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report at

U.S. Statistics

Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, and as many as 14 million will have the disease in 2050. The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias is estimated to total $290 billion in 2019, increasing to $1.1 trillion (in today's dollars) by mid-century. Nearly one in every three seniors who dies each year has Alzheimer's or another dementia.