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

  • 13,000 people aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s in Vermont.
  • 9.8% of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
  • 26,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in Vermont.
  • 37 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • $758 million is the value of the unpaid care.
  • $116 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 Vermont: Alzheimer’s Statistics, Cognitive Decline

Public health spotlight

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

In September 2021, the Vermont Department of Health launched a virtual Project ECHO series to help build capacity for dementia diagnosis and care. Over 80 participants joined the first session of this monthly program run through the Area Health Education Center at University of Vermont’s (UVM) Larner College of Medicine. The Department of Health also offers monthly "Dementia Corner Consults" for primary care providers and their teams, led by the medical director of the UVM Memory Program.

In October 2021, the Vermont Department of Health published a data brief on Risk Factors for Subjective Cognitive Decline in Vermonters.

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 1991, Vermont’s legislature established the Governor’s Commission on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders. In 2007 and 2008, JSI Research and Training Institute Inc., under contract with the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living, engaged in a planning process to develop a State Plan on Dementia. Soliciting feedback from community members, direct service providers and families impacted by Alzheimer’s, the subcommittee published the Vermont State Plan on Dementia in 2009. This plan was a resource for state policy makers and stakeholders to better understand how the estimated increase in people with dementia would need to be met with a corresponding increase in resources, including caregivers, specialized care units, respite services and education.

In 2020, Vermont was the recipient of a 3-year BOLD grant from the CDC with a goal to create an Alzheimer’s and Healthy Aging Program within the Vermont Department of Health. As part of that work they are currently contracting with Professional Data Analysts to facilitate the development of an Action Plan on Alzheimer's Disease & Aging by June 2022.

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.  

Vermont Implementation
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No known public health action at this time.

 
Vermont Resources
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BRFSS + Cognitive Decline

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Vermont (2020)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Vermont (2016)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Cognitive Decline in Vermont (2016)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Vermont (2013)