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

  • 140,000 people aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s in Virginia.
  • 8.9 percent of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
  • 462,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in Virginia.
  • 526 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • $6.6 billion is the value of the unpaid care.
  • $900 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 Virginia: Alzheimer’s Statistics, Cognitive Decline, Dementia Caregiving

Public health spotlight

In Virginia, the Office of Healthy Equity within the Department of Health partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association to ensure their faith-based coalition members — Partners in Prayer & Prevention (P3) — were educated on Alzheimer’s, brain health and the potential to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

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

The Virginia Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Commission serves as an advisory board within the executive branch and assists people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders as well as their caregivers and families. In 2009, the Commission began collecting public input to inform a state plan on Alzheimer’s disease. Utilizing aging as well as stress and coping theory, in December 2011 the Commission published the Dementia State Plan: Virginia’s Response to the Needs of Individuals with Dementia and their Caregivers. In 2015 an updated version of the plan, 2015-2019 Dementia State Plan: Virginia's Response to the Needs of Individuals with Dementia and their Caregivers, was published. In October 2019, the Commission published the Dementia State Plan: Building a Dementia-Capable Virginia.

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

Virginia Department of Health Virginia Department of Health added weblinks to the department's website on Alzheimer's, dementia, and brain health
Virginia Department of Health Virginia Department of Health, Office of Health Equity arranged for the Greater Richmond Alzheimer's Association Chapter to brief the Virginia Partners in Prayer & Prevention (Virginia P3, an evolution of the Congregations for Million Hearts program) program partners. As a result, P3 program invited the Alzheimer's Association to participate in and provide information at tables at P3 Community Health Champions' Health and Wellness events across the state later that year.
Petersburg/Crater Health District The district—with the regional chapter of the National Black Nurses Association, Virginia Commonwealth University, and potentially other organizations—held a community educational event that raised African Americans’ awareness of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other cognitive health issues.

 
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Resources

Caregivers + BRFSS

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Virginia

BRFSS + Cognitive Decline

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Virginia (2015)
Alzheimer's Association Infographic: Cognitive Decline in Virginia (2015)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Virginia (2013)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Virginia (2012)

BRFSS + Caregivers

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