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

  • 13,000 people aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s in Vermont.
  • 9.8 percent of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
  • 30,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in Vermont.
  • 34 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • $430 million is the value of the unpaid care.
  • $106 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 Vermont: Alzheimer’s Statistics, Cognitive Decline

Public health spotlight

In Vermont, the Department of Health conducted a webinar for public health professionals on the importance of early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

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 1991 Vermont’s legislature enacted legislation that established the Governor’s Commission on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders. The Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL), in its efforts to design and develop the State Plan on Dementia, convened a subcommittee of the Governor’s Commission on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders and other aging network providers. This subcommittee was charged with providing guidance and oversight for the development of a plan to help the state policy makers and stakeholders better understand how the estimated increase in people with dementia will need to be met with a corresponding increase in resources, including caregivers, specialized care units, respite services and education. During 2007 and 2008, JSI Research and Training Institute Inc., under contract with the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living engaged in a planning process to develop a State Plan on Dementia. Soliciting feedback from community members, direct service providers and families impacted by Alzheimer’s, the subcommittee published the Vermont State Plan on Dementia in 2009.

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

Department of Health Tobacco cessation campaign – 802Quits – trained health care providers about dementia risk and smoking and provided a link to WHO’s tobacco and dementia brief.
Department of Health Vermont Department of Health partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association, Vermont Chapter, to conduct a webinar for public health professionals on early detection and diagnosis.
University of Vermont College of Medicine University of Vermont College of Medicine engaged public health students to document the medical community’s views about assessing for dementia and preferences for training. Students subsequently developed an online course for the medical community.

 
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Resources

BRFSS + Cognitive Decline

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