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.

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 Virginia

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

State Affairs Contact Carter Harrison | 8049672594 | [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 Virginia

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 25,000 66,000 58,000 150,000
2025 29,000 89,000 68,000 190,000

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)


6th leading cause of death in Virginia

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.