Florida State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
In 2012, the Florida legislature passed HB 473, establishing the Purple Ribbon Task Force (PRTF) within the Department of Elder Affairs, consisting of 18 culturally diverse individuals appointed by the governor, the president of the Florida Senate, and the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. The legislation required the PRTF to submit a report of its findings and date-specific recommendations in the form of an Alzheimer’s disease state plan. The Task Force published the Final Report and Recommendations, State Plan on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Forms of Dementia (ADRD) in August 2013. Although the legislation terminates the task force with the submission of the state plan, the findings and recommendations provide a catalyst to mobilize a state response to this public health crisis and a guide to modernize state policies related to people living with dementia. In 2019, House Bill 449 (Chapter Law 2019-147), Section 430.501 F.S., was enacted, requiring an updated State Alzheimer’s Plan every three years with a separate annual report required. The bill also updated the membership of the state’s Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee, which supports the State Plan development. An updated Alzheimer’s Disease State Plan was published in November 2020.
Florida 2023 Policy Priorities
Establish Dementia Training Standards For Long-Term Care Providers
By the year 2025, the number of Floridians aged 65 or older living with Alzheimer’s will grow by 24% compared to 2020. Despite the growing dementia population in Florida, there is an inconsistency in dementia training standards across long-term care providers. Direct care workers have been commonly noted as the single most important determinant of quality dementia care across all care settings. The Alzheimer’s Association and advocates are calling on state lawmakers to require long-term care providers to establish minimum dementia training standards for direct care workers. Dementia training requirements will lead to consistent, quality care for individuals living with dementia in the state of Florida.
Maintain Funding for the Alzheimer’s Association Brain Bus
The Brain Bus is a mobile and virtual outreach initiative that prioritizes diverse and underserved populations throughout Florida. This program provides information on healthy living for the brain and body, early detection and diagnosis, caregiver resources and care planning, as well as emergency preparedness. The Alzheimer’s Association is advocating for continued funding for the Brain Bus to help serve the growing number of Floridians living with dementia and their caregivers. With continued funding, the Brain Bus seeks to make over 300 stops across the state and provide virtual education to all.
Expand Awareness of Alzheimer’s and Dementia
A large number of Floridians living with Alzheimer’s disease are not diagnosed, and many are unaware of their diagnosis. Across the country, as many as half of people living with dementia have never been diagnosed. An early diagnosis is crucial for improving quality of care and can provide much-needed answers to individuals with dementia and their families. The Alzheimer’s Association is advocating for the establishment of a statewide Alzheimer’s and dementia public awareness campaign, administered through the Florida Department of Health. The campaign will promote the importance of early detection and diagnosis, brain health and risk reduction strategies, and the availability of clinical trials. The campaign will target people over the age of 60 and underrepresented populations that are at a higher risk of developing the disease.
Support Funding for Person-Centered Home and Community-Based Services
Home and community-based services (HCBS) often better serve people with dementia and their families by providing them with increased independence and quality of life. Florida maintains the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative (ADI) program and Community Care for the Elderly (CCE) program which provide respite services to the 806,000 Floridians who serve as unpaid caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association and advocates are calling on state lawmakers to continue funding for the ADI and CCE programs to support individuals living with dementia receiving care at home and to reduce the number of caregivers on the waiting list for respite services.
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State Affairs Contact: Alex Anderson
people living with Alzheimer’s in Florida
Floridians 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 Florida needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in Florida
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 Florida policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.