Alzheimer’s disease is a growing public health crisis in Alaska. Without an effective treatment or cure, the impact of Alzheimer’s will continue to rise and the numbers in Alaska are escalating.
The most recent data show:

  • 8,500 people aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s in Alaska.
  • 11.3% of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
  • 12,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in Alaska.
  • 21 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • $406 million is the value of the unpaid care.
  • $76 million is the cost of Alzheimer’s to the state Medicaid program.

These numbers show that a public health approach is necessary to lessen the burden and enhance the quality of life for those living with cognitive impairment and their families.

Learn more about Alaska: Alzheimer’s Statistics, Cognitive Decline

Public health spotlight

In Alaska, the collaborative Alaska Commission on Aging has used data collection — from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) — to inform the next strategic initiatives to address cognitive impairment and dementia in the state.

Explore core areas

Find public health resources and examples that drive action across Alzheimer's-specific core areas.

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State plan overview

In 2011, the Alaska Commission on Aging initiated the state planning process. With collaboration from the Division of Public Health, other state agencies, community organizations, mental health professionals, and long-term care providers, the Commission formed a core team responsible for drafting Alaska’s response to Alzheimer’s. After collecting public input, Alaska’s Roadmap to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias was published in December 2014.

Resources for action

State and local public health agencies around the country are taking action against Alzheimer’s by implementing the Healthy Brain Initiative State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia: The 2018-2023 Road Map. Public health practitioners can learn by example and find resources to help guide their response below.  
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Department of Health and Social Services Department of Health and Social Services briefed public health and aging stakeholders about applying public health approaches to Alzheimer’s disease, including Road Map action items.

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BRFSS + Cognitive Decline

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Alaska (2016)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Cognitive Decline in Alaska (2016)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Alaska (2013)