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

  • 94,000 people aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s in Minnesota.
  • 8.7 percent of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
  • 254,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in Minnesota.
  • 289 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • $3.6 billion is the value of the unpaid care.
  • $824 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 Minnesota: Alzheimer’s Statistics, Cognitive Decline

Public health spotlight

In Minnesota, the Department of Health educated community health workers on the oral health needs of people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias by developing a curriculum and partnering with institutions that train these workers.

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 2009 the Minnesota Legislature charged the Minnesota Board on Aging to establish the Alzheimer’s Disease Working Group (ADWG) and make recommendations for policies and programs that would prepare Minnesota for the future (2009 Session Law). This body included health care providers, family caregivers, researchers, representatives from state and local health and human services agencies, and Minnesotans living with the disease. The Alzheimer’s Disease Working Group gathered expert research and background information and solicited input from the general public. Preparing Minnesota for Alzheimer’s: the Budgetary, Social and Personal Impacts was published in January 2011 and presented to the Minnesota Legislature. In 2017, the Legislature called for a review and revision of this report; the Alzheimer's Disease Working Group, Legislative Report was published in January 2019.

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

Minnesota Department of Health Developed a framework to identify high-risk communities with data analyses, help prioritize resources, and expand cognitive health partnerships throughout the health department.
Minnesota Department of Health Educated community health workers on the oral health needs of people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias by developing a curriculum and partnering with institutions that train these workers.
Minnesota Department of Health Informed efforts to make communities more supportive of people living with dementia and their caregivers by integrating cognitive and caregiver surveillance data and related resources into county fact sheets; MDH prioritized counties that have a high proportion of at-risk older adults.
Benton, Sherburne, and Stearns Countie County public health departments are developing a guide for employers on how to integrate dementia awareness and education, plus caregiver support, into worksite wellness programs
Chisago County Public Health Department Chisago County Public Health Department supported training of local law enforcement officers and first responders on how to effectively communicate with and serve people with dementia.
City of Northfield Conducted a community-wide assessment of community organizations, nursing homes, and health systems to identify needs and gaps in services/supports and to determine what existing resources could be used to fill gaps.
City of Northfield Held a summit for individuals from the health care sector and community organizations to highlight the need for early detection and diagnosis.
Dakota County Public Health Department Dakota County Public Health Department is enhancing evidence-based falls prevention programs to encourage early identification of people with dementia and to better serve this population.
Department of Health Convened a public stakeholder meeting with state agency staff (including public health, human services, and aging services) and community organizations to examine what policies (and what Road Map action items) can positively affect families with Alzheimer's throughout the state.
Department of Health Minnesota Department of Health will include dementia alongside other chronic conditions and obesity in its annual report regarding projected health and long-term care spending. Beginning in Nov. 2016, the health commissioner may apply any savings between projected versus actual outlays to state-administered health care programs.
Department of Health With legislative support, Minnesota Department of Health created new program focused on providing outreach and dementia education to African-Americans, African-born residents, and Asian and Hispanic populations.
Department of Human Services Minnesota Department of Human Services established a common point of entry for reporting abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults statewide, including those with dementia.
University of Minnesota School of Public Health University of Minnesota School of Public Health created a dedicated professorship focused on dementia education for public health students (anticipated to begin in 2016-2017 academic year). Curriculum development underway.

 
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Resources

Healthy Aging

ACT on ALZ Dementia Friendly Communities Toolkit

Public Education/Awareness

ACT on ALZ Dementia Education

Health Care Providers

ACT on ALZ Dementia Trainings for Direct Care Staff

Capacity

ACT on ALZ Best Practice for Optimizing Dementia Care: Care Coordinators
ACT on ALZ Dementia Curriculum for Educators

Workforce Education: Health Professionals

ACT on ALZ Best Practices for Detection and Early Management of Dementia
ACT on ALZ Dementia Trainings for Direct Care Staff
ACT on ALZ Managing Dementia through the Continuum

Training

ACT on ALZ Best Practices for Detection and Early Management of Dementia

BRFSS + Cognitive Decline

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Minnesota (2015)
Alzheimer's Association Infographic: Cognitive Decline in Minnesota (2015)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Minnesota (2013)

BRFSS + Caregivers

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Dementia Caregiving in Minnesota (2016)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Minnesota (2016)

Additional Resources

ACT on ALZ Dementia Education