South Carolina


Fund and Strengthen the Alzheimer's Caregiver Respite Program

98,000 South Carolinians have Alzheimer's, posing a unique challenge to some 199,000 family caregivers. Fortunately, South Carolina's Alzheimer's Caregiver Respite Program provides families with limited assistance to arrange temporary, paid care for a loved one with dementia. By using in-home care, adult day centers or other services, caregivers are able to take a break and support their mental and physical health. To enhance the program and better support families, the Alzheimer’s Association is urging the State Legislature to move the authority and funding for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Respite Program to the Department on Aging.

Ensure an Updated State Plan to Address Alzheimer’s in South Carolina

Today, numerous South Carolina state agencies administer a variety of programs critical to people living with dementia, including Medicaid, adult protective services, and health professional and facility licensure. However, these efforts are often siloed, with multiple state agencies working separately from one another. With the last plan written in 2009, South Carolina needs an updated Alzheimer’s state plan bringing all of the key state officials and private-sector stakeholders together to outline a comprehensive and coordinated approach to addressing Alzheimer’s as it affects our community today. The Alzheimer’s Association will urge state lawmakers to approve legislation ensuring the Alzheimer’s Resource Coordination Center will coordinate implementation and regular updates of the Alzheimer’s state plan.

South Carolina State Plan Overview

In June 2008, the South Carolina General Assembly created the Purple Ribbon Task Force through passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 1333 to study the current and future impact of Alzheimer's disease within the state, assess resources for those impacted by Alzheimer's, and develop a strategy to meet the needs of South Carolinians. Housed in the Lieutenant Governor's Office on Aging, the Purple Ribbon Task Force included representatives from state health and aging agencies, law enforcement, research institutions, long-term care agencies as well as health care providers and state legislators. Drawing on the multidisciplinary representation of its members, the Task Force published Conquering the Specter of Alzheimer's Disease in South Carolina in March 2009.


South Carolina State Advocacy Day

March 09, 2022

Use your voice to support people with Alzheimer’s and urge state lawmakers to support people with dementia and their families. Stay tuned for more details about how you can participate in the 2022 South Carolina State Advocacy Day.

Sign Up to Learn More About Advocacy Opportunities in South Carolina

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

State Affairs Contact Taylor Wilson | 8033150569 [email protected]

Alzheimer's Facts and Figures in South Carolina

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 South Carolina

This number is projected to increase 26.3% 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 South Carolina in 2019

couple hugging on bench

There has been a 166% increase in Alzheimer's deaths since 2000. Alzheimer's is the 6th leading cause of death in South Carolina.

There were 1,001 more deaths than expected from Alzheimer's and dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, 20% 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 South Carolina, there are 197,000 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.