Pages – Maryland Department of Health

May 26, 2022

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Deidre McCabe, Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-3536

Chase Cook, Deputy Director for Media Relations, 410-767-8649

Maryland Department of Health releases the 2022-2026 State Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias 

Baltimore, MD- The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today released a multi-year, statewide plan to address Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. 

The 2022-2026 Virginia I. Jones State Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias — named for both the council that led the plan’s development and the Maryland resident who inspired the council’s formation — is designed to be a roadmap for proactive planning by public and private partners to address the emerging needs of Maryland’s aging population.

The updated plan replaces the initial document created in 2012, and includes strategies to assess the current landscape for a better understanding of the underlying risks of dementia, and the needs of residents impacted by dementia. The plan’s release coincides with the upcoming start of national Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month on June 1, when events and activities will promote Alzheimer’s as a national priority and create awareness of the disease’s impact on individuals, families and communities. 

“Maryland is committed to strengthening the statewide, cross-sector infrastructure needed to properly support the state’s aging population,” said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “The state plan sets forth a whole-person, coordinated approach to meet the needs of Marylanders living with dementia across the disease continuum, from diagnosis to end of life.”

In Maryland, Alzheimer’s disease is the seventh leading cause of death among older residents. Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias represent an urgent, high burden, and high-cost public health crisis. An estimated 110,000 Maryland residents over age 65 are living with dementia, a number that is expected to increase 18% to 130,000 by 2025. Care for individuals with dementia accounts for more than $1.2 billion in annual Medicaid spending, with costs projected to increase 25% by 2025. In addition to direct medical costs, family caregivers in Maryland provide over 360 million hours of unpaid care every year. 

The plan recommends goals to address the Alzheimer’s disease and dementia crisis, enhance public awareness and understanding of Alzheimer’s and related dementias, improve care quality and coordination, support family caregivers, and promote innovation through data and research. 

“We are excited to deliver a proactive roadmap for dementia partners to comprehensively address Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in Maryland,” said Virginia I. Jones Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Council Chair, Dr. Quincy Samus. “While it will take time to realize the goals put forth, this is a critical step in planning and coordinating efforts that will ultimately improve the health and well-being of Marylanders through the promotion of healthy brain aging, enhanced public awareness, and a better and more holistic approach to dementia care.”

The council is named for Virginia I. Jones, a dedicated public servant and Maryland resident who lived with Alzheimer’s disease for more than two decades. The council builds upon the work of the former Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Commission, which was originally authorized in Senate Bill 679 (2013) and SB 549 (2016).

The Maryland Services Dementia Act of 2022 repealed the termination date of the council and established a new Director of Dementia Services and Brain Health position to coordinate MDH’s approach to addressing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. 

To learn more about the council, visit MDH’s Virginia I. Jones Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Council.

To learn about Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month, visit the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Maryland Chapter

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The Maryland Department of Health is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management and community engagement. 

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