Washington State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
In March 2014, Governor Jay Inslee signed Substitute Senate Bill 6124 (SSB 6124) calling on the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to convene an Alzheimer’s Disease Working Group (ADWG) to develop a Washington State Plan to address Alzheimer’s disease. The working group included professional and unpaid caregivers, people living with Alzheimer's disease, and other health care experts. The Washington State Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias was published in January 2016. Leading the charge to implement the plan is the Dementia Action Collaborative — a group of public-private partners committed to preparing Washington State for the growth of the dementia population.
Washington 2023 Policy Priorities
Expand the Dementia Resource Catalyst Program
The Dementia Resource Catalyst Program works to ensure dementia-capability in certain AAA public service areas of the state. These positions help identify service gaps in the AAA regions with a particular emphasis on people living with dementia, who wish to remain in their homes. The Alzheimer’s Association is advocating for state lawmakers to provide $1.9 million in funding to expand the Dementia Resource Catalyst Program by establishing two additional positions, for a total of four positions, and to require an evaluation of the program at the end of the biennium to ensure the best possible service is provided to people living with dementia.
Strengthen the Public Guardianship Program
Alzhiemer’s and other forms of dementia can impair cognition and judgment, and impact a person’s ability to take care of their activities of daily living — significantly impact a, impair their judgment, and cause confusion — leading to the need to appoint a guardian. There are currently 120,000 Washingtonians aged 65 and older with Alzheimer’s, a number that is expected to grow neary 17% by 2025; the state needs to prioritize expansion of the public guardianship program. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging state policymakers to support an appropriation of $1.37 million to the public guardianship program in Washington to address the demand for guardianship services, as the population with dementia continues to grow.
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Together, we’re making an impact. Find an Alzheimer’s Association chapter in your community for more ways to engage.
State Affairs Contact: Brad Forbes
people living with Alzheimer’s in Washington
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 Washington needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in Washington
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 Washington policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.