Establishing a dementia registry could improve allocation of brain health resources in Virginia

A dementia registry project in Virginia is on the brink of becoming law to prioritize brain health and ensure equitable allocation of resources. HB 1455, which has been backed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the CDC’s Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, is currently awaiting the signature of Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) to establish the Virginia Memory Project in state law.

The Virginia Memory Project is one of four statewide dementia registries in the country that collects data on disease cases and caregivers in the state. This information will help policymakers and public health leaders understand the prevalence of dementia, allocate resources, and develop policies to support individuals with cognitive impairments and their caregivers.

LeadingAge Virginia has expressed support for this legislation, emphasizing the importance of collecting data related to brain health, memory, and caregiving for all adult Virginians. Melissa Andrews, President and CEO of LeadingAge Virginia, stated that this information will help prioritize resources for individuals with memory loss and caregivers throughout the state, including those in various care settings beyond just assisted living facilities.

Currently, over 700,000 cases of dementia have been identified across Virginia through this project. Individuals aged 18 and older can participate by completing a confidential online survey to provide valuable data that supports well-being for individuals with cognitive impairments and their caregivers in Virginia.

By Samantha Johnson

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