Colorado State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
The Colorado Alzheimer’s Coordinating Council (CACC) was authorized by the state legislature in 2008 with the passage of Senate Bill 08-058. Members included representatives from state agencies, the state legislature, care providers, family caregivers, persons living with the disease, and the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Tasked with creating a state plan on Alzheimer’s, the CACC focused on Colorado’s current public and private capacity to address Alzheimer’s, identify service and support gaps, and make recommendations to improve the care of those living with the disease, their caregivers and their families. The Colorado State Alzheimer Disease Plan: A Roadmap for Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving and Family Support Policies was published in November 2010.
In 2022 through a community-informed process, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and ADRD Advisory Committee released the Colorado Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) State Plan. The new State Plan outlines actions for the next five years to enhance risk reduction and early diagnosis, and to improve the lives of persons living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia and their caregivers.
Colorado 2024 Policy Priorities
Educate Nursing Home Administrators on Dementia
With a growing number of Coloradans admitted to nursing homes every year, dementia training for direct care workers and facility administrators is critical. To ensure nursing homes can provide quality care to residents living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association is urging state lawmakers to establish dementia training requirements for nursing home administrators. Through this action, nursing home administrators will learn more about the basics of Alzheimer’s and other dementia, understand effective communication strategies and support their staff in person-centered care practices.
Improve Access to Biomarker Testing
With the historic Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of treatments that slow the progression of Alzheimer’s in the early stages, early detection and diagnosis is even more critical to ensure individuals receive the most benefit at the earliest point possible. Biomarkers offer one of the most promising paths to improve dementia detection, diagnosis and treatment. Yet these critical tests remain out of reach for many as insurance coverage is failing to keep pace with innovations and advancements in treatments. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging state lawmakers to expand insurance coverage of comprehensive biomarker testing. Without this legislation, dementia diagnoses may take up to two years, increasing the long-term costs to the individual, family and the state.
Person-Centered Guardianship and Conservatorship
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 or conservator. To ensure individuals living with dementia who are under guardianship or conservatorship are involved in decision-making processes, the Alzheimer’s Association is urging state policymakers to update guardianship and conservatorship statutes and make these legal processes more person-centered. Having a person-centered focus means supporting ongoing opportunities for meaningful engagement with the individual living with dementia, no matter the care setting.
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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: Coral Cosway
Email: [email protected]
people living with Alzheimer’s in Colorado
Coloradans 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 Colorado needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in Colorado
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 Colorado policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.