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

  • 39,000 people aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s in New Mexico.
  • 12.5 percent of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
  • 107,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in New Mexico.
  • 122 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • $1.5 billion is the value of the unpaid care.
  • $199 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 New Mexico: Alzheimer’s Statistics, Cognitive Decline, Dementia Caregiving

Public health spotlight

In New Mexico, the Department of Health co-created a video public service announcement (PSA) on ways to protect brain health and distributed it throughout the state. The PSA was specially-made to allow other public health agencies to adopt it and adapt it for use in their communities.

View the full PSA.

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 2012, the Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force established by House Memorial 20 was convened by the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department to assess the impact of, and make recommendations for, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias within the state. The Task Force was comprised of individuals from state agencies, health care providers, caregivers, individuals living with the disease, as well as representatives from academia and tribal organizations. After collecting input from public town hall meetings to inform plan recommendations, the Task Force published the New Mexico State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias in 2013.

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

New Mexico Department of Health Educated the public about ways to protect brain health by developing three PSAs based on the Alzheimer’s Association’s 10 Ways to Love Your Brain campaign; PSAs began airing on local TV station in fall 2017 and have been adapted for other media markets.
New Mexico Department of Health Improved support for caregivers of people living with dementia by co-marketing chronic disease selfmanagement courses and caregiving education programs; initial outreach resulted in more than 150 caregiver-participants.
Department of Health Integrated basic information about cognitive impairment and dementia into New Mexico Department of Health’s process for onboarding new employees.
Department of Health New Mexico Department of Health conducted a symposium on the public health aspects of Alzheimer’s at the New Mexico Public Health Association’s annual meeting.
Department of Health New Mexico Department of Health created and disseminated a notice to state and local public health professionals encouraging use of ACL’s community education resources on brain health.
Department of Health New Mexico Department of Health mobilized the New Mexico American Academy of Family Physicians to post online fact sheets on care planning for people with cognitive impairment and the CPT 99483 Explanatory Guide for Clinicians.
Department of Health New Mexico Department of Public Health’s September 2016 Employee Wellness newsletter (sent to 3,200 state employees) focused on healthy aging. It included basic information on education and support for family caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias; the link between healthy lifestyle and brain health, with encouragement to use the ACL Brain Health Resource toolkit; and advance care planning (general).
New Mexico Healthy Aging Collaborative New Mexico Healthy Aging Collaborative includes “cognitive health” as part of its multi-agency effort to support elders in New Mexico.

 
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Resources

BRFSS + Cognitive Decline

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in New Mexico (2016)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Cognitive Decline in New Mexico (2016)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in New Mexico (2013)

BRFSS + Caregivers

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Dementia Caregiving in New Mexico (2017)