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

  • 21,000 people aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s in Montana.
  • 9.8% of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
  • 17,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in Montana.
  • 25 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • $478 million is the value of the unpaid care.
  • $203 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 Montana: Alzheimer’s Statistics (PDF), Cognitive Decline (PDF), Dementia Caregiving (PDF), Risk Factors (PDF), County-Level Alzheimer's Prevalence (PDF)

Tribes in your state

Use the HBI Road Map for Indian Country to start conversations with tribal leaders on public health actions that can be taken to support brain health and caregivers. Find tribal leaders and federally recognized tribes in your state: Tribal Leaders Directory.

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 Montana, the Department of Health published a dementia-specific newsletter for the general public. The newsletter educated the public about how to recognize warning signs of cognitive decline and how to access support and services.

State plan overview

In June 2014 the the Montana Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia Work Group was established as a grassroots collaboration with funding provided by a grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI): Improving the Lives of Alzheimer's Patients and Their Caregivers: A Patient-Centered Statewide Approach. The Work Group is a statewide partnership consisting of several key national, state and local partners interested in improving care and support to Montanans with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias, their families and caregivers.

The Work Group consists of over 40 members representing multiple industries or stakeholder groups including the Alzheimer’s Association, the Senior and Long-term Care Division of the Department of Public Health and Human Services, the Governor’s Office, other government agencies, patient advocacy groups, patient advocates (caregivers), Assisted Living/Long-Term Care facilities, senior services groups, regional healthcare organizations and providers, the Veterans Administration, educators, researchers, legislators, Montana’s Native American populations and the LGBT community. In December 2016 the Work Group published Montana’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia State Plan: Addressing the Current and Future Needs of Individuals and Families with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias.

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.  

Montana Implementation

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services In monthly newsletter — Health in the 406 — Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services included cognitive health including how to recognize early warning signs, how to access services, and where to find more information.
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Medical Director sent a "Dear Colleague" letter about the benefits of early detection and diagnosis to the Nurses Association, Medical Association, and Hospital Association.

Montana Resources

BRFSS + Cognitive Decline

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

BRFSS + Caregivers

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