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Increase Public Awareness, Early Detection And Diagnosis
Strengthen Virginia's Public Health Infrastructure for Alzheimer's
While there is no cure or treatment for Alzheimer's, increasing awareness of dementia and supporting early detection and diagnosis can allow people with dementia and their families to ensure they have access to care. Virginia legislators are considering Senate Bill 572 to strengthen the public health infrastructure for Alzheimer's. The bill would give lead responsibility to the Virginia Department of Health, in consultation with the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitation, for educating and informing the public, based on evidence-based public health and research and data, about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, for supporting early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, for supporting risk reduction of cognitive decline, and for supporting care planning and management for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. These activities would help achieve recommendations in Virginia's Dementia State Plan 2020-2024, and help meet several objectives of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Brain Initiative 2018-2023 Road Map.
Increase Access to Home and Community-Based Services
Increase Access to Interdisciplinary Memory Disorders Clinics with Dementia Care Management
Dementia Care Coordinators (DCCs) are the critical center point for the provision of care for Virginians living with dementia. When family caregivers cease to be able to provide adequate care, people with dementia can no longer remain safely at home and require significantly more hospitalizations and health care resources. As such, family members are identified as participants in the plan of care. DCCs must have specialized training in important aspects of Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, and information on disease trajectories, local and regional resources and treatment options. The DCCs provide education about the disease and appropriate steps to prepare for disease-related changes. These can include legal steps such as advance directives, wills, and establishment of Power of Attorney. DCCs aid in getting necessary medical appointments, obtaining required social services and provide emotional support to the patient and families. They have appropriate partnerships with regional agencies including the Alzheimer's Association to connect patients with existing services. DCCs make at least one home visit to assess the needs and safety of the home environment. They have routine phone calls with the patient/family and establish meaningful relationships in order to guide patients and families through the illness maximizing satisfaction and helpful service provision while minimizing unnecessary healthcare utilization. They can arrange medical appointments and accompany patients to visits as appropriate. We support Virginia's efforts to increase the Dementia Care Coordinators program.
Virginia State Plan Overview
The Virginia Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Commission serves as an advisory board within the executive branch and assists people living with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders as well as their caregivers and families. In 2009, the Commission began collecting public input to inform a state plan on Alzheimer's disease. Utilizing aging as well as stress and coping theory, in December 2011 the Commission published the Dementia State Plan: Virginia's Response to the Needs of Individuals with Dementia and their Caregivers. In 2015 an updated version of the plan, 2015-2019 Dementia State Plan: Virginia's Response to the Needs of Individuals with Dementia and their Caregivers, was published.
Virginia State Advocacy Day
January 16, 2020
Make Alzheimer’s a Public Health Priority in Virginia! Please join us in Richmond to make a difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s! Your VOICE and your STORY will compel our state legislators to engage in the fight to better the lives of those affected by Alzheimer’s disease. We are going to the Capitol to ensure persons with dementia have access to the services they need.
Sign Up to Learn More About Advocacy Opportunities in Virginia
State Affairs Contact Carter Harrison | | [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
|2,592||total deaths in Virginia|
|6th||leading cause of death in Virginia|
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.