Idaho State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
In 2012, the Idaho Legislature established the Idaho Alzheimer’s Planning Group through passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 112. Tasked with determining how the state could best assist individuals and families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease, the Planning Group included representatives from state agencies, advocacy agencies, academia, and community organizations as well as researchers, caregivers, individuals affected by Alzheimer's, and the governor. After conducting a year-long state assessment and soliciting input from community stakeholders and the public-at-large, A State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias: Addressing the Needs of Idahoans with ADRD, Their Caregivers, and Family Members was released. The Idaho legislature endorsed the statewide plan with the passage of House Concurrent Resolution 34 in 2013. In 2021, a statewide ADRD Alliance was formed to revise the state Alzheimer’s plan. In March 2023 following a 13 month development period, the 2023-2028 ADRD Strategic Plan for Idaho was published. The updated plan identifies gaps between the needs of people living with dementia and services available and details short and long-term goals for the next five years. To ensure the next state Alzheimer’s plan reflects best practices and the current needs of residents in the state, SB 1096 (Chapter 151 of 2023) was enacted, requiring the Department of Health and Welfare to convene the ADRD Alliance every five years to update the state Alzheimer’s plan.
Idaho 2024 Policy Priorities
Improve Quality of Care Through Dementia Training
People living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia face unique health care needs. A cornerstone of providing quality dementia care is dementia-specific training for professional care staff. Care staff, however, often do not have sufficient knowledge on dementia to effectively support those living with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state lawmakers to require ongoing evidence and competency-based, dementia-specific training to be administered in every facility setting in Idaho that is involved in the delivery of care for people living with dementia.
Incorporate Dementia in Public Health Campaigns
Idaho is home to 27,000 individuals living with Alzheimer’s and 65,000 unpaid caregivers. By 2025, the number of Idahoans living with Alzheimer’s is estimated to increase by 22.2%. As the population with dementia grows, a robust public health response is needed to mitigate the future impact. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging the Department of Health and Welfare to integrate Alzheimer’s and other dementia into existing public health campaigns to highlight risk reduction strategies and promote early detection and diagnosis.
Empower Peace Officers with Dementia Training
First responders frequently encounter people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia when responding to emergencies and are often the first to observe instances of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Without proper training on de-escalation tactics, recognizing the signs of dementia and effective communication, situations may escalate quickly with potentially dangerous consequences. The Alzheimer's Association is calling on the Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to require evidence-based dementia-specific training for all peace officers every two years, along with requirements for instructor certification.
Include Dementia in the Statewide Health Assessment
For Idahoans living with Alzheimer’s, developing and implementing a timely and effective state response to this disease is critical. The Idaho Statewide Health Assessment, Get Healthy Idaho, works to understand the health of Idaho residents and address issue areas identified through the assessment. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging state officials to include the needs of individuals living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers in the Statewide Health Assessment. This update would increase attention and action on early diagnosis of dementia and ensure Idahoans have equitable access to information and resources that can improve their quality of life.
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State Affairs Contact: Lisa Anderson
Email: [email protected]
people living with Alzheimer’s in Idaho
Idahoans 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 Idaho needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in Idaho
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 Idaho policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.