Alzheimer’s disease is a growing public health crisis in Maryland. The impact of Alzheimer’s is projected to rise, and the most recent data show:
- 110,000 people aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s in Maryland.
- 10.1% of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
- 247,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in Maryland.
- 405 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
- $8.1 billion is the value of the unpaid care.
- $1.2 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 Maryland: Alzheimer’s Statistics, Cognitive Decline, Dementia Caregiving
Public health spotlight
In Maryland, the Department of Health provided small grants to local health improvement coalitions to help them conduct educational programs for the public on cognitive health, aging, and financial and legal planning.
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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State plan overview
In October 2013, the Virginia I. Jones Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Council was authorized to continue the work of the Maryland Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Commission. The Council's charge includes developing and monitoring the 2012 Maryland State Plan on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders devised by the Commission. In reviewing State statutes, policies and programs, the Council is to improve and enhance quality of life and support, and services for individuals living with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders and their families, by promoting and expanding the availability and accessibility of home- and community-based support and service programs. Originally to report by September 30, 2016, authorization for the Council was extended to September 30, 2019, and three members were added to the Council (Md. Code Ann., Health—General, Title 13. Miscellaneous Health Care Programs, Subtitle 32. Virginia I. Jones Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Council, 2013 and 2016).
Beginning in July 2019, the Council charge was expanded to update and advocate for the Maryland State Plan on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders. In addition, the Council will examine the needs of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders as well as their caregivers to identify how the state can assist most effectively. On policy, funding, and other issues relating to Alzheimer's, the Council is to advise the Governor and General Assembly. It also will develop and promote strategies that encourage cognitive health and reduce cognitive decline.
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 Road Map for Public Health, 2023–2027. Public health practitioners can learn by example and find resources to help guide their response below.
|Maryland Department of Health
||Promoted advance directives by collaborating with: 1) the Maryland Faith Health Network, which educated more than 500 Marylanders about advance care planning through health fairs, faith-based events, and end-of-life educational seminars; and 2) three local health improvement coalitions, which educated almost 150 participants in seven courses on advance planning.