Senator Brown Champions Legislation to Enhance Alzheimer’s Care, Legislation Approved by Committee

HARRISBURG – Legislation to advance Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD) support was approved today by the Senate’s Aging and Youth Committee, according to the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Rosemary M. Brown (R-40), who has championed this bill for nearly two years.

“I am pleased to see other legislators in the House and Senate jump on board to support Senate Bill 840. The enthusiasm shows me that the advocates, my staff, and I have done significant work behind the scenes to build a coalition to advance this critical legislation,” said Brown.

Senate Bill 840 would significantly improve Pennsylvania’s response to the growing crisis of ADRD by establishing a permanent ADRD Division and an ADRD Advisory Committee within the Department of Aging. The entities would work together to bring stakeholders to the table, advocate for effective policies and secure federal funding.

“This legislation is a crucial step in addressing the growing Alzheimer’s crisis in Pennsylvania,” Brown said. “Our state’s current approach lacks the necessary coordination, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities for comprehensive care and support. We have a state plan, but nothing has moved forward. It is time to recognize the effort and coordination needed.”

The establishment of the ADRD Division and Advisory Committee would not only improve coordination, but also enhance Pennsylvania’s ability to secure federal funding and implement effective policies for those affected by Alzheimer’s and related disorders.

“Our mission is clear – we must break down bureaucratic barriers and foster collaboration across government agencies,” Brown said. “This is more than policy – it is a commitment to protect our loved ones and ensure Pennsylvania leads the way in Alzheimer’s care and support.”

Currently, 280,000 seniors in Pennsylvania are living with Alzheimer’s – a number expected to rise to 320,000 by 2025. In 2020, the state spent nearly $3.7 billion on Medicaid costs for Alzheimer’s care, with projections indicating more than a 10% increase in the coming years. This financial burden is not shouldered by the state alone – Pennsylvania families cover 70% of the total lifetime cost of caring for someone with dementia. This includes out-of-pocket health expenses and the substantial value of unpaid care. In 2022, more than 404,000 unpaid caregivers in Pennsylvania provided care worth more than $10.7 billion.

“Senate Bill 840 is about ensuring that our loved ones receive the best possible care, support and guidance,” Brown said. “By streamlining our efforts and fostering collaboration, we can make a real difference in the lives of those affected by ADRD.”

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

CONTACT: Christine Zubeck

Back to Top