District of Columbia State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
In 2012, the District of Columbia Office on Aging (DCOA) established a workgroup of community partners and stakeholders to develop an Alzheimer's plan. The District of Columbia State Plan on Alzheimer's Disease 2014-2019 was published a year later to mitigate the effects of Alzheimer's disease and improve access to benefits for those affected within the District. In an important next step, legislation enacted in 2019 created the role of Dementia Services Coordinator in the D.C. Department of Health and is tasked with implementing and updating the District’s State Alzheimer’s Plan.
District of Columbia 2023 Policy Priorities
Implement the Dementia Training for Direct Care Workers Act
The Dementia Training for Direct Care Workers Act was signed into law in 2020, marking a huge victory for the District of Columbia. The Act establishes dementia training requirements for staff who actively engage with residents and requires facilities to establish procedures regarding the treatment and care of residents living with dementia. The bill also requires the Department of Health to designate standardized trainings and conduct a rate study to ensure workers are appropriately compensated. Although the Act was enacted and funded in 2020, the requirements of the Act need to be implemented. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on policymakers to fully implement the Dementia Training for Direct Care Workers Act.
Strengthen the District’s Direct Care Workforce
The direct care workforce in the District of Columbia must be better equipped to serve the 8,900 individuals aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s and their 14,000 caregivers. To strengthen the direct care workforce, the Alzheimer’s Association is partnering with the D.C. Long Term Care Coalition to call on the D.C. Council to increase wages for direct care workers and ensure wages rise with inflation. The Association also urges lawmakers to lower the minimum age for all direct care workers to age 16 and fund the Geriatric Career Builder’s Apprenticeship Program to address the direct care workforce shortage.
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Find My Chapter
Together, we’re making an impact. Find an Alzheimer’s Association chapter in your community for more ways to engage.
State Affairs Contact: Eric Colchamiro
people living with Alzheimer’s in the District of Columbia
Washingtonians are providing unpaid care
Medicaid cost of caring for people living with Alzheimer’s (2020)
increase in Alzheimer’s deaths since 2000
in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia
increase of geriatricians in the District of Columbia needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in District of Columbia
The following resources developed by AIM and the Alzheimer’s Association will help you learn more about the issues impacting people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, how District of Columbia policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.