South Carolina

Congressional Profiles

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.


As we celebrate Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month in June, we'd like to thank Governor McMaster for issuing a proclamation and for lighting the Governor's Mansion in purple! Get involved by going purple this month! Learn more at


Increase Public Awareness, Early Detection And Diagnosis

Urge South Carolinians to "Take Brain Health to Heart"

Growing evidence indicates that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline by adopting key heart-healthy lifestyle habits. To educate the public on how to reduce the risk factors of cognitive decline, often a first symptom of dementia, we are requesting $250,000 for SC DHEC to conduct a statewide PSA campaign titled "Take Brain Health to Heart." Educating the public on how to reduce their risk of cognitive decline through healthier choices, such as regular exercise and a nutritious diet, will also help reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions, making South Carolina a healthier state overall.

Increase Access to Home and Community-Based Services

Ensure Sustained Funding for Alzheimer's Caregiver Respite

92,000 South Carolinians have Alzheimer's, posing a unique challenge to some 313,000 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. Please ask the General Assembly to continue funding this program at $900,000 in 2020! This vital program is funded through the South Carolina Department of Mental Health and provided respite to 1,073 families last year.

Advance Alzheimer's Policy

Support the Infrastructure Needed to Make South Carolina Dementia-Capable

Living with Alzheimer's and other dementias is a full-time struggle for the individuals and and family caregivers living with the disease. We need a full-time Dementia Coordinator housed within our state agency that will work to address their needs, especially since South Carolina’s Alzheimer’s population will grow from 92,000 to 120,000 by 2025. South Carolina law has already mandated that the Alzheimer’s Resource Coordination Center within the Department on Aging should educate healthcare providers on the importance of early detection and diagnosis, encourage innovative service delivery systems, inform public policy, and more -- but this important work has never been funded. It’s time to commit to fighting for those with an illness that affects 11% of the population aged 65+ and nearly half of those aged 85+.

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 04, 2020

Help us make Alzheimer’s disease a priority in South Carolina! Our State Advocacy Day will provide an opportunity for you to meet with your state legislators at the State House in Columbia. This year, we are asking legislators to fund a full-time Alzheimer’s Coordinator Position at the Department on Aging. Existing state law outlines responsibilities for such a role within the Alzheimer’s Resource Coordination Center, but this has never been funded. We need YOU to share YOUR story with your legislators! For more information and to register, please visit:

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

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
2020 18,000 43,000 35,000 95,000
2025 20,000 56,000 40,000 120,000

Percentage change from 2020




Medicaid costs of caring for people with Alzheimer's (2020)


change in costs from 2020 to 2025



per capita Medicare spending on people with dementia (in 2019 dollars)

HOSPICE (2017)



of people in hospice have a primary diagnosis of dementia


of people in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia



Number of geriatricians in 2019


increase needed to meet Alzheimer's population needs in 2050

Hospitals (2017)



of emergency department visits per 1,000 people with dementia


dementia patient hospital readmission rate


increase in emergency deparment visits since 2007


318 Thousand

Number of Caregivers

362 Million

Total Hours of Unpaid Care

$4.75 Billion

Total Value of Unpaid Care

Number of Deaths from Alzheimer's Disease (2018)

2,616 total deaths in South Carolina
6th leading cause of death in South Carolina
5th highest Alzheimer's death rate in America
199% increase in Alzheimer's deaths since 2000

For more information, view the 2020 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report at

U.S. Statistics

Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, and as many as 13.8 million will have the disease in 2050. The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias is estimated to total $305 billion in 2020, increasing to $1.1 trillion (in today's dollars) by mid-century. Nearly 1 in 3 seniors who dies each year has Alzheimer's or another dementia.