Increase Access to Care, Support and Treatment

Couple with Doctor

Receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or another dementia can be devastating and overwhelming. Families are facing a fatal disease and a health care system that is not set up to deliver the care and support they need. Access to resources and treatment is essential at all stages of the disease. 

How State Government Can Help

AIM is working with state lawmakers and advocates to implement policies that will ensure people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia have equitable access to care, support and treatment. AIM is advancing policies that:

  • Reduce health care barriers and increase access to residential and home- and community-based services
  • Ensure state Medicaid programs provide appropriate coverage for FDA-approved treatments
  • Create a statewide crisis response system that is sensitive to the changing behaviors of a person living with dementia
  • Strengthen the health care workforce
  • Establish or strengthen family caregiver support programs

Improve Quality of Care

Home Health Aid with Patient Inside

People living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia face unique health care challenges. Quality care delivered by trained providers leads to better health outcomes for individuals and caregivers and puts less strain on health systems. Yet, too often direct care providers and clinicians do not have access to appropriate training and are not incentivized to achieve a higher level of expertise. 

How State Government Can Help

State governments have oversight of training and licensing for health care providers and first responders, and as a result, can play a critical role in ensuring these professionals can provide appropriate support to people living with cognitive impairment. AIM is working with state leaders to implement policies to improve quality of care by:

  • Increasing dementia competency among health care providers, so they can deliver person-centered care 
  • Improving residential and home- and community-based services (HCBS) provider licensure requirements for dementia care
  • Establishing and implementing quality measures that protect and enhance the lives of individuals living with dementia regardless of care setting
  • Ensuring that individuals living with dementia who are under court-ordered guardianship receive services from a dementia-educated guardian
Bertha B., Michigan

The most rewarding thing about being an advocate is knowing that I’m making a difference, that I’m not passively letting this disease take my family. I’m going to fight back. And that's how I fight back: it’s being an advocate.

—Bertha B., Michigan

Advance Risk Reduction, Early Detection and Diagnosis

Checking Blood Pressure

More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, but as many as half of them have not been diagnosed. The need for greater awareness of dementia risk reduction and warning signs is critical. An early and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can improve access to care and support services, enhance quality of life, and reduce the financial impact of the disease. 

How State Government Can Help

It is critical that state public health departments work to educate health care providers and the public about the importance of early detection and diagnosis and improve access to and awareness of resources. AIM is working with state policymakers to support policies that:

  • Expand access to resources in diverse and underserved communities to reduce stigma and increase early detection and diagnosis of dementia
  • Incentivize care planning for individuals and families living with dementia
  • Incentivize and advance dementia risk reduction strategies across provider and community settings

Ensure a Coordinated Statewide Response to Alzheimer’s

Advisor Talking About Planning To Couple At Home

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most critical public health issues in America. As the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s continues to grow, so will the impact on state health systems, budgets and workforce. Addressing the Alzheimer’s and dementia crisis requires a coordinated response across state agencies and divisions within state government. 

How State Government Can Help

AIM is working to ensure that the unique needs of individuals living with dementia and their families are being considered fully across state government by asking state leaders to:

  • Improve the collection, availability and utilization of dementia-related data by relevant state agencies
  • Establish a statewide Alzheimer’s/Dementia task force that is administered by the state
  • Develop, implement and regularly update a State Alzheimer’s/Dementia Plan in collaboration with community stakeholders
  • Establish a permanent, full-time Dementia Services Coordinator position and/or Dementia Unit within the relevant state agency to work across agencies in implementation of the State Alzheimer’s/Dementia Plan
  • Ensure all relevant statewide plans and assessments include the needs of individuals living with dementia and their families

Alzheimer’s Policy in the States

Across the nation AIM advocates are working to advance public policies to improve the lives of individuals and families impacted by Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. Learn about Alzheimer’s policies and advocacy in your state.

Resources to Drive Change in Your State

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, the role state government can play in addressing these issues, and how you can help drive change.

Maryland’s Advocates Achieve Legislative Wins

Thanks to our hardworking advocates in states like Maryland, AIM is leading the way to pass laws that improve the lives of those living with dementia and their caregivers. In Maryland’s 2022 legislative session, advocates worked to develop, introduce and grow support for several bills that became laws.

Two Advocates Outside

Be a Champion in the Fight to End Alzheimer’s

Our voices are stronger together. Help AIM advance legislation to improve the lives of people impacted by Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.

  • Share your story with elected officials
  • Engage on social media
  • Write a letter to the editor