Montana State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
In June 2014, the Montana Alzheimer's Disease/Dementia Work Group was established as a grassroots collaboration with grant funding provided by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI): Improving the Lives of Alzheimer’s Patients and Their Caregivers: A Patient-Centered Statewide Approach. The Work Group’s membership includes private sector stakeholders and state officials representing the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, who convene regularly to improve care and support for Montanans living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia, their families, and caregivers. In December 2016 the Work Group published Montana’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia State Plan: Addressing the Current and Future Needs of Individuals and Families with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias.
Montana 2023 Policy Priorities
Prevent Involuntary Commitment to Psychiatric Hospitals
The 22,000 Montanans living with dementia deserve to have equal access to quality care in the most appropriate setting. However, some have been involuntarily committed to the state psychiatric hospital due to dementia-related behaviors. These transfers or discharges can be very traumatizing to residents living with dementia, and psychiatric hospitals may not provide the specialized care that people with dementia need. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging state lawmakers to support House Bill 29 to ensure Montanans with dementia are able to reside in the most appropriate setting and are not involuntarily committed to state psychiatric hospitals.
Establish a Dementia Services Coordinator Position
Numerous state agencies in Montana are working separately from each other to administer a variety of programs that are critical to Montanans with dementia and their families. This lack of coordination is hindering the ability of Montana to evaluate the effectiveness of policy efforts that serve those living with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state policymakers to establish a full-time Dementia Services Coordinator position within the state government to coordinate the state’s response to dementia. The Dementia Services Coordinator will serve as a liaison between state agencies, the governor, the legislature, and private stakeholders to identify and address inefficiencies within dementia programs and services. With the number of people aged 65 or older in Montana expected to increase by 22.7% in 2025, the Dementia Services Coordinator position is crucial for ensuring the state has a coordinated and effective approach toward addressing Alzheimer’s.
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State Affairs Contact: Claire Marshall
people living with Alzheimer’s in Montana
Montanans 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 Montana needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in Montana
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 Montana policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.