State releases roadmap for improving Alzheimer’s care in Vermont

Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 6:00 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - There’s a new road map for improving Alzheimer’s disease care in Vermont.

Alzheimer’s is the fifth leading cause of death in Vermont.

In 2020, an estimated 13,000 Vermont seniors, or about 10%, had Alzheimer’s.

Projections show by 2025, there will be about 17,000 Vermonters with the disease, some 31% more.

Given the increasing numbers, there’s also increasing urgency to make systems of care better for patients and their families.

Last week, state health officials released the Vermont Action Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease, Related Dementias & Healthy Aging.

Some main goals include erasing stigma, building capacity, building comfort for providers to treat and talk about dementia, and getting more people to talk to their doctors about memory concerns.

“While we’ve made some improvement over the last couple of years, still, only 50% of Vermonters are bringing their memory concerns to the provider. So we want to see that increase,” said Rhonda Williams, the chronic disease prevention chief for the Vermont Department of Health.

They’re working to build out more information on the health department’s website to help people navigate the system.

Click here to see the full plan.

Watch the video to see our Cat Viglienzoni’s full conversation with Rhonda Williams.