Iowa State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
In 2007, the Iowa Legislature established a task force through the enactment of Senate File 489 to assess the current and future impact of Alzheimer’s disease on residents, examine the existing resources available, and develop a strategy to mobilize a state response to the growing threat of Alzheimer’s disease. The task force included representatives from the long-term care industry, community organizations, and state agencies as well as state legislators, caregivers, and individuals directly impacted by Alzheimer’s. After collecting testimony from advocacy groups and individuals to inform the plan's recommendations, the task force published the Final Report: Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force in January 2008.
In 2011, through the passage of House File 390, the Iowa Legislature established the Alzheimer’'s Work Group to identify strategies, action steps, and stakeholders to respond to the needs of Iowans living with Alzheimer's and other dementia. The Work Group was additionally tasked with implementing a state government infrastructure dedicated to serving people living with dementia, creating partnerships to implement strategies, and providing recommendations for data collection. The Work Group presented their findings by publishing the Alzheimer's Disease Response Strategy report in 2011.
Iowa 2023 Policy Priorities
Establish Dementia Service Specialists Across the State
Dementia can cause unique challenges — both for people living with the condition and their caregivers. Individuals diagnosed or caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s have to navigate a complex network of resources and benefits to meet their care needs. With the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease projected to increase in Iowa by nearly 11% by 2025, Iowa needs a stronger infrastructure for providing accessible support to individuals living with dementia and their caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging state legislators to appropriate $750,000 to establish a statewide Dementia Service Specialist Program. This program will be administered through Iowa’s six Area Agencies on Aging and will bring dementia-specific expertise to local communities. Dementia care specialists will focus on providing caregiver support and community education, increasing awareness, and building partnerships with local health care providers and practitioners.
Ensure the Continuous Update of the State Alzheimer’s Plan
State Alzheimer’s Plans provide a pathway for state governments to ensure the needs of the dementia population in their states are being met. State Alzheimer’s Plans also establish accountability by helping to ensure policymakers create the infrastructure necessary to address this growing public health crisis. In Iowa, the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia (ADRD) program is responsible for coordinating the creation and implementation of the State Alzheimer's Plan, but this program is funded by a temporary grant. To ensure the Iowa State Alzheimer’s Plan reflects the best practices for being a dementia-capable state, the Alzheimer’s Association is urging state lawmakers to codify a permanent process for reviewing and updating the plan every 3-5 years, and include a state appropriation for the continuation of the ADRD program.
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State Affairs Contact: Robyn Mills
people living with Alzheimer’s in Iowa
Iowans 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 Iowa needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in Iowa
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 Iowa policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.