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

  • 110,000 people aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s in Maryland.
  • 10.6 percent of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
  • 294,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in Maryland.
  • 334 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • $4.2 billion is the value of the unpaid care.
  • $1.1 billion 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 Maryland: Alzheimer’s Statistics, Cognitive Decline, Dementia Caregiving

Public health spotlight

In Maryland, the Department of Health provided small grants to local health improvement coalitions to help them conduct educational programs for the public on cognitive health, aging, and financial and legal planning.

Explore core areas

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

Learn More

State plan overview

In 2011, Governor Martin O’Malley established the Virginia I. Jones Commission on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders through executive order 01.01.2011.21. The Commission was charged with evaluating the reach of the Alzheimer’s disease within the state and making recommendations to address and meet the needs of families impacted by this disease. The Commission included representatives from state agencies, hospital systems, community organizations and law as well as caregivers, state legislators, individuals directly impacted by Alzheimer’s and health care providers. The Commission published the Maryland State Plan on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders in December 2012.

In October 2013, the Virginia I. Jones Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Council was authorized to continue the work of the Maryland Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Commission. The Council's charge includes developing and monitoring the 2012 Maryland State Plan on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders devised by the Commission. In reviewing State statutes, policies and programs, the Council is to improve and enhance quality of life and support, and services for individuals living with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders and their families, by promoting and expanding the availability and accessibility of home- and community-based support and service programs. Originally to report by September 30, 2016, authorization for the Council was extended to September 30, 2019, and three members were added to the Council (Md. Code Ann., Health—General, Title 13. Miscellaneous Health Care Programs, Subtitle 32. Virginia I. Jones Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Council, 2013 and 2016).

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.  
 

Select Filters
Implementation

Maryland Department of Health Assured state’s council on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias has public health expertise and involvement by serving as council co-chair with the Maryland Department of Aging.
Maryland Department of Health Facilitated the integration of cognition and cognitive health concerns into public health programming, including older driver safety and education of public health professionals.
Maryland Department of Health Promoted advance directives by collaborating with: 1) the Maryland Faith Health Network, which educated more than 500 Marylanders about advance care planning through health fairs, faith-based events, and end-of-life educational seminars; and 2) three local health improvement coalitions, which educated almost 150 participants in seven courses on advance planning.
Maryland Department of Health The Department of Health promoted a cognitive decline infographic (from BRFSS data) and recorded webinar in its Chronic Disease Connections newsletter in July 2017.
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene encouraged public health professionals to learn about cognitive health in its September 2016 Chronic Disease Connection newsletter.
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene invited the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Maryland Chapter policy director to brief the Maryland Advisory Council on Heart Disease and Stroke on the heart-brain connection. (July 2016)
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene provides small grants to local health improvement coalitions to help them provide individuals with educational programs and resources on cognitive health, aging, and financial and legal planning.
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene—with the regional chapter of the National Black Nurses Association and potentially other organizations—held a community educational event that raised African Americans’ awareness of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other cognitive health issues.

 
Select Filters
Resources

Caregivers + BRFSS

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Maryland

BRFSS + Cognitive Decline

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Maryland (2015)
Alzheimer's Association Infographic: Cognitive Decline in Maryland (2015)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Maryland (2011)

BRFSS + Caregivers

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Dementia Caregiving in Maryland (2017)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Dementia Caregiving in Maryland (2015)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Maryland (2015)