More than 120,000 individuals in Missouri are currently living with Alzheimer’s or related dementia. With the aging of the baby boomer population, that number will escalate to more than 130,000 by 2025. A recent report, Missouri Alzheimer’s State Task Force Report and Recommendations identifies areas with strategies for the State of Missouri to address and respond to the escalating public health crisis regarding Alzheimer’s.
Commissioned by the 101st General Assembly, the Alzheimer’s State Task Force members were appointed by Governor Parson. Task force members were commissioned to:
- Assess the current and future impact of Alzheimer’s disease on Missourians.
- Examine existing services and resources for persons with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
- Develop recommendations to respond to the public health crisis of Alzheimer’s in Missouri.
- Ensure inclusion of all ethnic and racial populations that have a higher risk.
- Identify opportunities for the state to partner with federal government entities.
- Provide information and coordination across all state agencies regarding Alzheimer’s.
- Examine dementia-specific training requirements across health care, adult protective services workers, law enforcement and all other areas in which staff are involved with the delivery of care to those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
- Develop strategies to increase the diagnostic rate of Alzheimer’s disease in Missouri.
“Alzheimer’s disease poses a grave and growing challenge to Missouri and our nation,” said Paula F. Nickelson, acting director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. “The Task Force did a tremendous job gathering information and developing recommendations that will assist in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s and benefit those with Alzheimer’s, their caregivers and their family members.”
Upon completion of reviewing current services and resources related to Alzheimer’s and other dementias and hearing the needs of Missourians through eight community forums, the Alzheimer’s State Plan Task Force identified four focus areas.
- Advance Risk Reduction, Early Detection and Timely Diagnosis
- Increase Access to Care, Support, and Treatment
- Improve Quality of Care
- Ensure a Coordinated Statewide Response
“Gathering input from persons living with Alzheimer’s disease, family caregivers and stakeholders from across the state was a critical part of the planning process,” said Nickelson. “The voices of those who spoke during the in-person town hall-style community forms and those who completed surveys are considered throughout the plan.”