North Carolina State Alzheimer’s 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’s department of health. The Task Force included health care providers, advocates and other stakeholders who worked together to determine the needs of those living 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.
North Carolina 2024 Policy Priorities
Increase Project C.A.R.E. Respite Funding
Caregivers in North Carolina provided 533 million hours of unpaid care in 2023, often enabling their loved ones living with dementia to live in the community instead of moving into more costly residential long-term care. Current state funding is inadequate to meet the existing respite care needs of caregivers for people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia, and this shortfall will only grow as the population with dementia continues to increase in North Carolina. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state lawmakers to increase funding to $2 million annually for the state’s respite care program, Project C.A.R.E. This funding increase will allow the program to expand by adding additional host sites and respite care grants for caregivers.
Empower Adult Protective Services Workers with Dementia Training
Adult Protective Services (APS) workers are often called to address crisis situations or during times of distress. They frequently interact with individuals living with dementia in a variety of settings and are among the first to observe and intervene in instances of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Without proper training on how to recognize the signs of dementia and how to effectively communicate with an individual living with dementia, situations may escalate quickly with potentially dangerous consequences. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state officials to mandate dementia-specific training for APS workers to ensure they understand the unique needs of North Carolinians living with dementia.
Support Dementia Training for Court Appointed Guardians
Due to the impact of dementia on a person’s ability to make decisions and in the absence of other advanced directives, people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia may need the assistance of a guardian. Once appointed, a guardian may make decisions for the individual that relate to the person’s health, well-being and economic interest. With such responsibility, it is imperative that appointed guardians receive dementia training. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on the Division of Health and Human Services to require dementia-specific training for appointed guardians to ensure the safety of both North Carolinians living with dementia and their guardians.
Ensure North Carolina is Prepared to Address Alzheimer’s
North Carolina is home to 180,000 individuals with Alzheimer’s and 369,000 unpaid caregivers. By 2025, the number of North Carolinians living with Alzheimer’s is estimated to increase by 16.7%. As the dementia population grows, a robust state government response is needed to mitigate the impact. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state lawmakers to pass House Bill 837, which codifies the state Alzheimer’s plan into law with updates every four years, maintains the Dementia Services Coordinator position within the state agency, and formalizes the State Plan Task Force at the discretion of the Division of Aging.
North Carolina State Advocacy Day
Join advocates in Raleigh on Tuesday, May 7, 2024 for State Advocacy Day! State Advocacy Day is designed to move legislators to act on Alzheimer’s and dementia policy that will improve the lives of North Carolina families impacted by this disease. Learn about the legislative process. Tell your personal story to bring awareness to the importance of the Alzheimer’s Association’s public policy priorities. Engage in discussions with elected officials.
Sign Up to Learn About Advocacy Opportunities in North Carolina
Find My Chapter
Together, we’re making an impact. Find an Alzheimer’s Association chapter in your community for more ways to engage.
State Affairs Contact: Scott Herrick
Email: [email protected]
people living with Alzheimer’s in North Carolina
North Carolinians are providing unpaid care
Medicaid cost of caring for people living with Alzheimer’s (2020)
increase in Alzheimer’s deaths 2000-2019
in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia
increase of geriatricians in North Carolina needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in North Carolina
The following resources developed by AIM and the Alzheimer’s Association will help you learn more about the issues impacting people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, how North Carolina policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.