Alzheimer’s disease is a growing public health crisis in Virginia. 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 Virginia.
- 9.5% of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
- 354,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in Virginia.
- 529 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
- $10.3 billion is the value of the unpaid care.
- $1 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 Virginia: Alzheimer’s Statistics, Cognitive Decline, Dementia Caregiving
Public health spotlight
In Virginia, the Office of Healthy Equity within the Department of Health partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association to ensure their faith-based coalition members — Partners in Prayer & Prevention (P3) — were educated on Alzheimer’s, brain health and the potential to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
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 September 2020, the Virginia Department of 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
The Virginia Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Commission serves as an advisory board within the executive branch and assists people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders as well as their caregivers and families. In 2009, the Commission began collecting public input to inform a state plan on Alzheimer’s disease. Utilizing aging as well as stress and coping theory, in December 2011 the Commission published the Dementia State Plan: Virginia’s Response to the Needs of Individuals with Dementia and their Caregivers. In 2015 an updated version of the plan, 2015-2019 Dementia State Plan: Virginia's Response to the Needs of Individuals with Dementia and their Caregivers, was published. In October 2019, the Commission published the Dementia State Plan: Building a Dementia-Capable Virginia (2020-2024).
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.
No known public health action at this time.