AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) is among the first 15 public health entities nationally to be awarded federal funding to expand support services for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease under the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act.
Maine’s initial award is $200,000, which can be renewed annually through 2023.
Maine CDC applied for the funding in partnership with the Maine Office of Aging and Disability Services.
The BOLD Act, which became law on December 31, 2018, authorizes the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) to allocate up to $20 million per year for five years to local entities that provide dementia and Alzheimer’s disease care and support.
The activities outlined in the BOLD Act are designed to create a uniform national public health infrastructure with a focus on issues such as increasing early detection and diagnosis, risk reduction, prevention of avoidable hospitalizations, and supporting dementia caregiving.
“The additional funding will help expand those efforts at a time when demographic trends signal a growing need," Dr. Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine CDC, said.
With the addition of BOLD Act funding, Maine CDC will collaborate with governmental and nongovernmental partners to build Maine’s Alzheimer’s Prevention Program based on the Healthy Brain Initiative Road Map and advance Maine’s efforts as a designated Age Friendly State.
In October 2019, Maine became the sixth state to receive the coveted designation; but Maine has led the country for years in the number of towns and counties that have joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.
Maine has the nation’s oldest median age (44.7 years) and the highest percentage (20.6 percent) of its population age 65 or older, according to the U.S. Census. The percentage of Maine’s population 65 and older is growing faster than the average both in New England and nationally. Using 2019 estimates from the Alzheimer’s Association, the projected number of Mainers age 65 years and older with Alzheimer’s disease will grow from 28,000 to 35,000 by 2025, a growth rate of 25 percent.
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