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In February 2020, the Tennessee state legislature advance a piece of legislation, The Col. Thomas G. Bowden Memorial Act. This bill seeks to create a pilot program to deliver home and community-based services, including respite care to those living alone with Alzheimer's or those being cared for by a family member or friend.
Advocates from across Tennessee came together in Nashville to lobby their legislators to support, including Col. Bowden's widow who is a tireless advocate for families losing a loved one to Alzheimer's. Watch below to find out more!
Increase Access to Home and Community-Based Services
Support the Creation of an Alzheimer's and Caregiver Support Program
There are over 439,000 Tennesseans providing unpaid care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Providing this care often comes at a great expense both financially and to the caregiver’s health. Those who take on the relentlessly exhausting labor of love that is caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s need support. Our priority legislation seeks to deliver home and community-based services including respite to those living alone with Alzheimer's and those being cared for in home by a family member or other informal caregiver. S.B.1889/H.B. 2674, the Colonel Thomas G. Bowden Memorial Act creates a pilot program, OPTIONS for Dementia Care, which will provide Tennesseans with Alzheimer's and dementia with services such as respite care, homemaker services, personal care, and home delivered meals. Contact your legislators now and ask them to support!
Advance Alzheimer's Policy
Strengthen Financial Protections for People with Dementia - Support S.B. 867/H.B 0896
Sadly, in addition to facing all of the physical and emotional challenges of the disease, individuals living with Alzheimer's are vulnerable and at risk for exploitation from their appointed conservator. This year we are supporting S.B. 867/H.B 0896 brought by Representative Darren Jernigan (TN-60) and Senator Jon Lundberg (TN-4) requiring conservators other than public guardians to complete educational training on conservatorships within 30 days of appointment. This legislators allows a guardian ad litem to obtain a credit report and national criminal history background checks for a proposed fiduciary. Better preparing conservators and ensuring that only those highly- qualified individuals are entrusted with this significant financial responsibility will reduce the risk of exploitation. Please reach out to your state senator and representative and ask them to support this important issue!
Advance Alzheimer's Policy
Connect with the Alzheimer's Advisory Council
The Alzheimer's Association Tennessee Chapter is an active member of the state's Alzheimer's Advisory Council. The council is tasked with: 1) Continually assessing the current status of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias in the state and assess the current and future impact of Alzheimer's disease and dementia on Tennessee residents. 2) Examining the existing industries, services, and resources addressing the needs of person's, families and caregivers affected by Alzheimer's and dementia. 3) Developing a strategy to mobilize a state response to matters regarding Alzheimer's disease and dementia. 4) Providing annual recommendations to the governor and general assembly and publish annual reports. More information on the Alzheimer's Advisory Council can be found here: https://www.tn.gov/aging/news-and-events/calendar/2019/12/18/alzheimer-s-advisory-council.html
Tennessee State Plan Overview
In July 2007, the Tennessee General Assembly enacted Senate Bill 826 (Public Chapter No. 566) establishing the Tennessee Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force (TADTF) to assess the current and future impact of Alzheimer’s disease in Tennessee, examine services and resources, and draft a state strategy to respond to Alzheimer’s within the state. The Task Force included representatives from long-term care organizations, adult day providers, physician groups, community organizations, state agencies, caregivers, individuals living with the disease and state legislators. In February 2009 the Task Force published the Tennessee Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force Final Report.
In May of 2019, the Tennessee General Assembly enacted Senate Bill 28 (Public Chapter No. 364) establishing the Tennessee Alzheimer's Disease Advisory Council to assess the current and future impact of Alzheimer's disease in Tennessee, examine services and resources, and draft a state strategy to respond to Alzheimer's within the state. The Advisory Council includes representatives from long-term care organizations, stakeholders, physician groups, community organizations, state agencies, caregivers, individuals living with the disease, and state legislators. In January 2020 the Advisory Council published the updated Alzheimer's and Related Dementia State Plan.
Tennessee State Advocacy Day
February 12, 2020
Our annual Day on the Hill will took place at Cordell Hull on February 12th, 2020. Over 80 advocates spoke with legislators urging them to support the Colonel Thomas G. Bowden Memorial Act to establish the OPTIONS for Dementia Care Pilot Program.
Sign Up to Learn More About Advocacy Opportunities in Tennessee
State Affairs Contact Rachel Blackhurst | | [email protected]
Number of People Aged 65 and Older With Alzheimer's by Age
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)
of people in hospice have a primary diagnosis of dementia
of people in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia
of emergency department visits per 1,000 people with dementia
dementia patient hospital readmission rate
increase in emergency deparment visits since 2007
Number of Caregivers
Total Hours of Unpaid Care
Total Value of Unpaid Care
|3,488||total deaths in Tennessee|
|6th||leading cause of death in Tennessee|
|4th||highest Alzheimer's death rate in America|
|241%||increase in Alzheimer's deaths since 2000|
For more information, view the 2020 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report at alz.org/facts.
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.