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

  • 180,000 people aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s in North Carolina.
  • 10.7% of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
  • 356,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in North Carolina.
  • 514 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • $7.3 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 North Carolina: Alzheimer’s Statistics, Cognitive Decline

Public Health spotlight

In North Carolina, the North Carolina Disease Event Tracking and Epidemiologic Collection Tool (NC DETECT) — part of the state’s public health surveillance system — was used to analyze five years of data to obtain rates of emergency department visits with a dementia diagnosis.

Read the full surveillance brief.

Explore public health action against Alzheimer’s

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

See Public Health Topics
In September 2020, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services received a Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Program Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

State plan overview

In 2014 language was included in North Carolina’s budget bill, Senate Bill 744, calling for the development of a state Alzheimer’s plan. In March 2015, the North Carolina Institute of Medicine convened a Task Force to develop an Alzheimer’s disease strategic plan at the direction of the state department of health. The Task Force was comprised of health care providers, advocates and other stakeholders who worked together to determine the needs of those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias in the state. Dementia-Capable North Carolina: A Strategic Plan for Addressing Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias was published in March 2016.

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.  

 
North Carolina Implementation
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Department of Health and Human Services North Carolina’s Disease Event Tracking and Epidemiologic Collection Tool (NC DETECT), part of the state’s public health surveillance system, was used to analyze five years of data to obtain rates of emergency department visits with a dementia diagnosis

 
North Carolina Resources
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Public Education/Awareness

Wake Forest Alzheimer's Disease Center Still Here

BRFSS + Cognitive Decline

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in North Carolina (2016)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Cognitive Decline in North Carolina (2016)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in North Carolina (2011)

BRFSS + Caregivers

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Dementia Caregiving in North Carolina (2011)

General Brain Health

Wake Forest Alzheimer's Disease Center Still Here

Indian Country Resources

Wake Forest Alzheimer's Disease Center Still Here

Additional Resources

Wake Forest Alzheimer's Disease Center Still Here