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Program Contacts

3601 C Street, Suite 722
Anchorage AK 99503

Stephanie Smith
Dementia Education and Prevention Program Manager
907-269-8449

 

collage of Alaska adults at different stages of life staying health and keeping their brains sharp. 

Dementia Education and Prevention Program

Highlights:

Alaska’s Dementia Education and Prevention Program focuses on prevention and education relating to dementia, and treatment and care of Alaskans with dementia. Dementia is the term for a variety of conditions that cause memory loss and reduce problem-solving and thinking abilities that interfere with daily life. Across the nation, Alaska has the fastest growing population of adults 65 and older. An estimated 10% of Alaska seniors have Alzheimer’s Disease and related types of dementia. The number of Alaskans with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to reach 11,000 in 2025.  

The 32nd Alaska Legislature (2021–2022) passed a bill to create this new program within the Alaska Department of Health. The goal is to strengthen the health department’s ability to work with partners to improve understanding of early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. This new program aligns the department with the existing work of the Alaska Dementia Action Collaborative. It will focus on health changes people can make to reduce their chances of developing dementia. The program also will also work to improve early diagnosis, treatment and resources for providers and caregivers.

New federal grant supports more work in Alaska to address dementia

The Dementia Education and Prevention Program received Alaska’s first BOLD federal grant. BOLD is an acronym referring to the federal Building Our Largest Dementia infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, Public Law 115-406. This competitive grant funds the following efforts over the next five years:

  • Establishing Public Health Centers of Excellence for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias
  • Providing funds to support public health departments
  • Increasing data analysis related to dementia and timely reporting

Grant sets priorities for new dementia program

Strategies in the new BOLD grant workplan are the short-term priority recommendations for Alaska:

  • Educate the public, providers and other professionals about types of dementia and ways to prevent them.
  • Increase the availability and use of data to improve knowledge about dementia and meet dementia-focused goals and activities.
  • Identify ways to improve electronic referral in health care provider’s offices to connect patients to more dementia services in their communities.
  • Improve sustainability of dementia-related goals and activities. ​​