Alzheimer’s is a growing public health crisis and state governments must take bold action. Effectively implementing and updating State Alzheimer’s Plans and supporting other policies will reduce the long-term impact of the disease on state budgets, and improve the lives of individuals living with dementia and their family caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to working with state governments on policies that improve the lives of those affected by Alzheimer’s. To achieve this goal we work to:
- Increase access to care, support, and treatment
- Improve quality of care
- Advance risk reduction, early detection and diagnosis
- Ensure a coordinated statewide response to Alzheimer’s
This week, the North Carolina General Assembly introduced two bills the Alzheimer’s Association chapters across North Carolina have been advocating for since the 2023 legislative session began in January.
Codifying the Dementia-Capable North Carolina State Plan
As we partner with coalitions, universities, state agencies, and other voluntary health organizations, we have made priority the North Carolina State plan entitled “Dementia-Capable North Carolina: A Strategic Plan for Addressing Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Dementias.” House Bill 837, Make North Carolina More Dementia Capable, is sponsored by Rep. Diane Wheatley (NC-43) and strengthens our State Plan by updating the title in statute, requiring the plan be updated every four years to the legislature and the public, bolstering the Dementia Services Coordinator position, and requiring the Dementia Capable North Carolina task force to meet quarterly under the direction of the Division of Aging within Health and Human Services.
Incorporating Dementia in Existing Public Health Campaigns
The second bill filed with Alzheimer’s Association support is House Bill 868, The Alzheimer’s Public Health Improvement Act. This bill sponsored by Rep. Julie von Haefen (NC-43) requires state agencies to include relevant brain health messaging in all their public facing campaigns. It also calls for a budgetary appropriation of $250,000 in FY 2023-24 and FY 2024-25 to the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services to conduct educational campaigns for health care providers and increase public awareness and understanding about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.