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

  • 120,000 people aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s in Tennessee.
  • 13.6% of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
  • 444,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in Tennessee.
  • 506 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • $6.6 billion is the value of the unpaid care.
  • $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 Tennessee: Alzheimer’s Statistics, Cognitive Decline, Dementia Caregiving

Public health spotlight

Explore core areas

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

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In Tennessee, the Department of Health educated the public health workforce about cognitive health, health indicators, diagnosis and community resources through a statewide issue brief and live webcast training.

The Tennessee Department of Health (TN DOH) developed The Healthy Brain Toolkit for Public Health designed to educate public health professionals about the intersection of chronic disease and Alzheimer’s. TN DOH launched a public awareness campaign about cognitive health and how individuals and reduce their risk of cognitive decline.

State plan overview

In July 2007, the Tennessee General Assembly enacted Senate Bill 826 (Public Chapter No. 566) establishing the Tennessee Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force (TADTF) to assess the current and future impact of Alzheimer’s disease in Tennessee, examine services and resources, and draft a state strategy to respond to Alzheimer’s within the state. The Task Force included representatives from long-term care organizations, adult day providers, physician groups, community organizations, state agencies, caregivers, individuals living with the disease and state legislators. In February 2009 the Task Force published Tennessee Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force Final Report.

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

Tennessee Department of Health As part of their Healthy Brain Toolkit, the Tennessee Department of Health ran ads and PSAs about cognitive health and ways the public can reduce their risk of cognitive decline
Tennessee Department of Health Educated public health professionals about cognitive health, health indicators, diagnosis, and community resources via an issue brief developed from original data analyses and conducted a live training webinar to discuss findings and implications for public health practice.
Department of Health Tennessee Department of Health arranged for the Alzheimer’s Association to brief about 20 of its top leaders on the Alzheimer’s Road Map and Alzheimer’s as a public health issue.

 
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Resources

BRFSS + Cognitive Decline

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Tennessee (2016)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Cognitive Decline in Tennessee (2016)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Tennessee (2015)
Alzheimer's Association Infographic: Cognitive Decline in Tennessee (2015)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Tennessee (2011)

BRFSS + Caregivers

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Dementia Caregiving in Tennessee (2016)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Tennessee (2016)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Dementia Caregiving in Tennessee (2015)