TN Alzheimer's Advocates Celebrate Passage Of Tennessee Disability And Aging Act Into Law

  • Friday, April 19, 2024
Governor Bill Lee signed HB2089/SB2098, the Tennessee Disability and Aging Act of 2024, into law which relocates the Tennessee Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia Advisory Council from under the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability to the Tennessee Department of Health
Governor Bill Lee signed HB2089/SB2098, the Tennessee Disability and Aging Act of 2024, into law which relocates the Tennessee Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia Advisory Council from under the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability to the Tennessee Department of Health

Governor Bill Lee has signed HB2089/SB2098, the Tennessee Disability and Aging Act of 2024, into law. 

The Tennessee Disability and Aging Act of 2024 relocates the Tennessee Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia Advisory Council from under the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability to the Tennessee Department of Health.

The Administration proposes relocating the Council, as it also rolls TCAD under the umbrella of the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and renames DIDD, the Tennessee Department of Disability and Aging.

This legislation, as amended, also improves the Alzheimer’s Advisory Council, said officials. It amends the Council's current reporting period from annually to every three years, allowing Council members the opportunity to show progress with state plan initiatives. It makes subcommittees or working groups "permissible".

The Tennessee Alzheimer’s & Related Dementia Advisory Council was created via legislation and is composed of 11-16 members, as currently codified in T.C.A, § 71-2-11.

Its purpose is to:

1)    Assess the current status and future impact of Alzheimer's disease and dementia on Tennessee residents.
2)    Examine existing industries, services, and resources addressing the needs of Tennesseans affected by Alzheimer's.
3)    Develop a strategy/state response regarding Alzheimer's disease and related dementia and submit an annual state plan.
4)    Provide recommendations to the governor and the Tennessee General Assembly.

Tennessee Government Affairs Director Leanne Durm said, “The number of Tennesseans living with Alzheimer’s and dementia is only increasing. Alzheimer’s is a chronic disease. It is a public health issue that requires detection and diagnosis from healthcare professionals, along with extensive medical care. Locating the Council under the Tennessee Department of Health creates that fundamental foundation and baseline, as the Department explores infrastructure and programs needed to address this disease and serve the thousands of Tennesseans living with Alzheimer's and dementia, and their caregivers.”

Alzheimer’s and other dementia have a growing impact on state health systems, budgets and workforces. In 2023, Alzheimer’s and other dementias cost American taxpayers an estimated $345 billion, and the cost is projected to rise to nearly $1 trillion by 2050. In Tennessee, Medicaid costs of caring for people living with Alzheimer’s (2020) equaled $1.109B.

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most critical public health issues in America, with one in three seniors dying with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association and AIM will continue working with policymakers to address the dementia crisis and ensure there is a coordinated response to Alzheimer’s in every state.

Currently in Tennessee, there are more than 129,000 people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and an estimated 369,000 family members and friends serving as unpaid caregivers. 

To learn more about year-round advocacy efforts in Tennessee, visit alzimpact.org/Tennessee

Learn more about how the Alzheimer’s Association and AIM are advancing policies that improve the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia in states throughout the country.

The Alzheimer's Impact Movement advances and develops policies to overcome Alzheimer's and all other dementia through increased investment in research, enhanced care and improved support. We amplify the voices of our nationwide network of volunteer advocates to advance progress in the fight against Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.


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