Utah State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
In March 2011, Utah’s state legislature passed Senate Bill 48, establishing the Utah State Plan Task Force within the Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services. Tasked with assessing the current and future impact of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia within the state, the Task Force included representatives from state agencies, homecare providers, health plans, and elder law, as well as state legislators, an individual living with the disease, caregivers, and the lieutenant governor. After collecting public feedback, the Task Force drafted Utah’s State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias: Action Plan for 2012-2017, which was published in January 2012. In early 2018, Utah updated their plan, releasing Utah's State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias, 2018 to 2022. In 2023, the Utah Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias Coordinating Council released a new state plan with five priorities dedicated to addressing the needs of people living with dementia, caregivers, and health care professionals.
Utah 2024 Policy Priorities
Increase Dementia Awareness Across Rural Utah
In Utah, 34,000 residents are living with Alzheimer’s, but as many as half of them are not formally diagnosed. Those who have received a formal diagnosis are often unsure how to navigate health care and social support systems. Through a public awareness campaign, Utahans can learn about the early signs of dementia, building a care plan, cognitive aging and healthy lifestyle changes that should be discussed with a health care professional. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state lawmakers to support a funding increase of $45,000 for the expansion of a public awareness campaign on Alzheimer’s and other dementia with a particular focus on underserved rural communities.
Equip First Responders 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 effectively communicating with individuals living with dementia, situations may escalate quickly with potentially dangerous consequences. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on the Utah Peace Officers Standards and Training Rules Sub Committee to mandate peace officers to receive 1.5 hours of competency-based dementia training to ensure officers can safely respond to dementia-related behaviors and emergencies involving individuals living with dementia.
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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: Jeremy Cunningham
Email: [email protected]
people living with Alzheimer’s in Utah
Utahans 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 Utah needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in Utah
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 Utah policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.