Alzheimer’s disease is a growing public health crisis in Maine. Without an effective treatment or cure, the impact of Alzheimer’s will continue to rise and the numbers in Maine are escalating.
The most recent data show:

  • 28,000 people aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s in Maine.
  • 10.3 percent of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
  • 69,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in Maine.
  • 79 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • $992 million is the value of the unpaid care.
  • $197 million is the cost of Alzheimer’s to the state Medicaid program.

These numbers show that a public health approach is necessary to lessen the burden and enhance the quality of life for those living with cognitive impairment and their families.

Learn more about Maine: Alzheimer’s Statistics, Cognitive Decline, Dementia Caregiving

Public health spotlight

In Maine, the Bangor Public Health & Community Services Department and partners educated its employees on how to prepare for the Alzheimer’s public health crisis emphasizing early detection and diagnosis and brain health.

Explore core areas

Find public health resources and examples that drive action across Alzheimer's-specific core areas.

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State plan overview

In June 2011, Maine’s legislature commissioned a state task force with the enactment of LD 859, calling for a study of the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and the creation of a guide to help the state meet the needs of individuals and families impacted by this disease. The task force included representatives from elder law, community organizations, state agencies, academia and law enforcement as well as caregivers, individuals living with the disease, state legislators and health care providers. After soliciting public feedback, the task force published the State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias in Maine in June 2012.

Resources for action

State and local public health agencies around the country are taking action against Alzheimer’s by implementing the Healthy Brain Initiative State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia: The 2018-2023 Road Map. Public health practitioners can learn by example and find resources to help guide their response below.  
 

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Implementation

Maine Department of Health and Suman Services Published county-specific health profiles including metrics on subjective cognitive decline.
Bangor Public Health and Community Services Department Bangor Public Health & Community Services invited Alzheimer’s Association Maine Chapter staff to an in-person meeting to educate its employees on how to prepare for the Alzheimer’s public health crisis, with an emphasis on early detection, early diagnosis and other Healthy Brain Initiative action items.
Bangor Public Health Department Bangor Public Health Department distributed hundreds of ‘Know the 10 Signs’ brochures throughout the region to enhance public understanding of the early warning signs of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, and the value of early detection.
Department of Health and Human Services Developed GLBT-inclusive messaging for public awareness campaigns.
Department of Health and Human Services Distributed the State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias in Maine – a special insert for health care providers on cognitive assessment tools, early detection, and the value of early diagnosis – to primary care professionals through hospital and health systems.
Kennebunkport Public Health Office Kennebunkport Public Health Office nurses are partnering with their local Alzheimer’s Association chapter to host a series of talks on Alzheimer’s for public health staff and community members.
Maine Public Health Association Maine Public Health Association devoted an issue of its e-newsletter to raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

 
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Resources

Caregivers + BRFSS

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Maine

BRFSS + Cognitive Decline

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Maine (2016)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Cognitive Decline in Maine (2016)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Maine (2012)

BRFSS + Caregivers

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Dementia Caregiving in Maine (2015)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Maine (2015)