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Alzheimer's Disease & Related Dementias Program

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and is a progressive disease that affects the parts of the brain controlling thought, memories and emotions. Though Alzheimer's disease mostly affects older adults, it is not a normal part of aging. 

Multigenerational family laughing togetherThe Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Program puts focus on issues such as increasing early detection, diagnosis and risk reduction for Alzheimer’s Disease and dementias, prevention of avoidable hospitalizations related to these diseases and conditions, and providing support for dementia-related caregiving. 

Over 66,000 Iowans aged 65 and older have Alzheimer's Disease. It is the sixth-leading cause of death in the US, impacting nearly 6 million Americans. In addition, over 73,000 Iowans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia. 

In September 2020, the Iowa Department of Public Health engaged in a three-year cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to build public health infrastructure related to Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Funding for this work is provided by the CDC as a result of the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act.

The activities outlined in the BOLD Act seek to create a uniform national public health infrastructure with a focus on increasing early detection and diagnosis, risk reduction, prevention of avoidable hospitalizations, and supporting dementia caregiving. Learn more about the BOLD act

The long-term goals for this work are:

  • Increase the proportion of adults aged 65 and older with diagnosed ADRD, or their caregiver, who are aware of the diagnosis;
  • Increase the proportion of older adults who talk to their health care provider about changes in their memory;
  • Reduce the proportion of preventable hospitalizations in adults aged 65 and older with diagnosed ADRD; and
  • Increase the proportion of older adults who use the Welcome to Medicare benefit.

Please contact us if you would like more information or have specific questions about the program.