Tennessee State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
In July 2007, the Tennessee General Assembly established the Tennessee Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force to assess the current and future impact of Alzheimer’s disease in Tennessee, examine services and resources, and draft a state strategy to respond to Alzheimer’s within the state. The Task Force included representatives from long-term care organizations, adult day providers, physician groups, community organizations, state agencies, caregivers, individuals living with the disease and state legislators. In February 2009, the Task Force published the Tennessee Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force Final Report.
In May of 2019, the Tennessee General Assembly enacted Senate Bill 28 (Public Chapter No. 364) establishing the Tennessee Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Council. In January 2020, the Advisory Council published the updated Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia State Plan.
Tennessee 2023 Policy Priorities
Continue Funding for Dementia Respite Care
Although often rewarding, the responsibilities of providing care for someone living with dementia can be challenging and burdensome, leaving physical and emotional difficulties for the caregiver. To support family caregivers, Tennessee passed the Colonel Thomas G. Bowden Memorial Act, which created a three-year pilot program called the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Respite Care Program. This new program provides respite care services for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and families caring for them. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging the state legislature to include $1 million in the 2023-2024 State Budget to ensure that this vital respite program continues.
Ensure Full Access to the Dementia Respite Care Program
The Colonel Thomas G. Bowden Memorial Act is an important first-step in providing support to dementia family caregivers in Tennessee. The state is currently in the first year of the three-year pilot program called the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Respite Care Program. As the state has begun implementation of this program, a number of issues have arisen that need to be addressed to ensure Tennessee family caregivers have full access to this important resource. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging state lawmakers to clarify the definition of respite care, specify that the rate paid to providers is the most current rate, and address the ambiguity regarding the need for a formal dementia diagnosis to participate in the program.
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Together, we’re making an impact. Find an Alzheimer’s Association chapter in your community for more ways to engage.
State Affairs Contact: Dawne Bunn
Email: [email protected]
people living with Alzheimer’s in Tennessee
Tennesseans 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 Tennessee needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in Tennessee
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 Tennessee policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.