Alzheimer’s disease is a growing public health crisis in Georgia. The impact of Alzheimer’s is projected to rise, and the most recent data show:

  • 150,000 people aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s in Georgia.
  • 11% of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
  • 338,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in Georgia.
  • 647 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • $9.3 billion is the value of the unpaid care.
  • $1.3 billion 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 Georgia: Alzheimer’s Statistics, Cognitive Decline, Dementia Caregiving

Public health spotlight

Explore public health action against Alzheimer’s

Learn more about areas essential to addressing Alzheimer's from a public health perspective.

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In Georgia, the Workforce Development workgroup of the Georgia Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Task Force developed health care provider training on dementia, early detection and diagnosis and caregiver health.

The Georgia Department of Public Health developed and distributed a public awareness campaign — Think About It. The campaign educates the public about cognitive health, encourages individuals experiencing cognitive concerns to talk to a health care provider, and provides tools for clinicians to identify warning signs and how to utilize the cognitive health benefit of Medicare’s annual wellness visit. The campaign was promoted through public transit ads.

In September 2020, the Georgia Department of Public Health received an enhanced Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Program Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

State plan overview

In 2013, the Georgia General Assembly established the Georgia Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias State Plan Task Force through passage of Senate Bill 14 to research the current and future impact of the disease and develop a strategy to mobilize the state response to the growing public health threat posed by Alzheimer’s. The Task Force included representatives from state agencies — including the Georgia Department of Public Health — local health departments, research institutes, law enforcement, care provider associations, elder law and community organizations as well as state legislators, caregivers, community members and individuals directly impacted by Alzheimer’s. Building upon previous work completed by the Georgia Division of Aging Services, and the Alzheimer’s Association, Georgia Chapter, the Task Force solicited public input and drafted the Georgia Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias State Plan. The plan was published in June 2014. The State Commissioner of Public Health has held a seat on the Task Force and Advisory Council since its inception.

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.  
 

Georgia Implementation
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Georgia Department of Public Health Georgia Department of Public Health developed and distributed a public awareness campaign — Think About It — through transit ads on buses, trains, and billboards. Campaign educates the public and providers about cognitive health.
Georgia Department of Public Health Georgia Department of Public Health analyzed surveillance data to describe the prevalence of Alzheimer’s and related dementias among Georgia Medicare beneficiaries, including the overall burden, disparities, and impact on service utilization and related costs.
Georgia Department of Public Health Department of Public Health trained clinical staff (70 physicians and 75 nurse practitioners) about dementia and the need for increased awareness and diagnosis.

 
Georgia Resources
State:
Issue:

Risk Factors + Risk Reduction

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Subjective Cognitive Decline in Georgia

Caregivers + BRFSS

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Georgia (2018)

BRFSS + Cognitive Decline

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Subjective Cognitive Decline in Georgia (2019)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Subjective Cognitive Decline in Georgia (2019)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Georgia (2015)
Alzheimer's Association Infographic: Cognitive Decline in Georgia (2015)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Georgia (2013)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Georgia (2012)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Georgia (2011)

BRFSS + Caregivers

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Georgia (2018) (2018)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Dementia Caregiving in Georgia (2016)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Georgia (2016)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Dementia Caregiving in Georgia (2012)

Care and Advance Planning

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Subjective Cognitive Decline in Georgia
Georgia Health Decisions Critical Conditions Planning Guide