Alzheimer's Disease

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging provides information on Alzheimer's disease through the 52 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). Geriatric assessment centers, dementia care units, older adult daily living centers, and Alzheimer's Association chapters are also great sources of information regarding Alzheimer's Disease. To find the contact information for your local AAA, click here.    

Important Term Definitions

  • Special Care Unit: Units in a long-term care facility with services specifically for persons with Alzheimer's Disease, dementia, head injuries, or other disorders.
  • Geriatric Assessment Center: These centers offer multidisciplinary evaluations and specialized treatment plans for patients.
  • Older Adult Daily Living Centers (Also known as Adult Day Service Centers): All adult day centers in Pennsylvania provide personal care, nursing services, social services, therapeutic activities, nutrition and therapeutic diets and emergency care. Some centers offer additional services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, medical services, podiatry, etc. to meet the range of client needs. For more information on adult day centers, click here.

Additional Information and Resources  

  • National Alzheimer's Association
    Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association advances research to end Alzheimer's and dementia while enhancing care for those living with the disease. The Alzheimer's Association is one of the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.
  • Alzheimer's Association in Pennsylvania
    The Alzheimer's Association has two chapters in Pennsylvania that can assist you and your loved ones with a wide range of services and information. Toll-free 24/7 helpline: 1-800-272-3900
  • - Greater Pa. Chapter (offices in Erie, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre):
  • - Delaware Valley Chapter (offices in Hellertown, King of Prussia, Reading and Philadelphia):
  • The University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer's Disease Resource Center
    The University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer Disease Research Center (ADRC) is one of the nation’s leading research centers specializing in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. Through outpatient evaluations, participants and their families receive state-of-the-art diagnostic assessments and contribute to the scientific study of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • University of Pennsylvania Alzheimer's Disease Center
    The goal of the Penn Memory Center is to provide a thorough evaluation for individuals who have memory loss, confusion, personality change, or other signs of a dementing illness. The Penn Memory Center also facilitates the ability of patients and their families to participate in a variety of research studies, including the evaluation of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, new diagnostic techniques, and quality of life studies.

    PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare are Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for older adults, offering low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. For information, call 1-800-225-7223.

  • Pennsylvania Caregiver Support Program
    The major focus of the Pennsylvania Caregiver Support Program is to reinforce the care being given to persons over the age of 60 or adults with chronic dementia. The
    package of benefits begins with an assessment to determine what benefits best meet your needs and the needs of the person receiving care. Then you will choose an option from available supportive services.
  • The OPTIONS Program
    If you are sixty (60) years of age or older, OPTIONS long-term care services may be available to you. These services are intended to provide customized support to help you remain in your home and your community. Consumer preferences are considered.
  • Aging Waiver Program
    Aging and Home and Community-Based Waiver Services may be available to residents of Pennsylvanian who are Medicaid eligible and over the age of 60 to enable them to continue to live safely in their homes and communities with support and services. To view the  list of services available through the Aging Waiver that you or a loved one may be eligible for, please click the link above.
  • Pennsylvania Alzheimer's Disease State Planning Committee
    Gov. Tom Corbett has signed an Executive Order establishing the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Disease State Planning Committee. The committee will work to create a state plan to address the growing Alzheimer’s disease crisis in Pennsylvania.
    Secretary of Aging Brian Duke will serve as the chairperson of the committee that will examine the needs and research the trends of Pennsylvania’s Alzheimer’s population.
  • The Older Americans Act
    "To meet the diverse needs of the growing numbers of older persons in the United States President Lyndon Johnson on July 14, 1965, signed into law the Older Americans Act (OAA).  The OAA set out specific objectives for maintaining the dignity and welfare of older individuals and created the primary vehicle for organizing, coordinating and providing community-based services and opportunities for older Americans and their families." - From the Administration on Aging
  • Pennsylvania Medical Society 
    The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) advocates for patients as well as for physicians. PAMED provides you with up-to-date information and numerous resources related to personal health and patient safety.
  • Legal Issues Assistance
    The 52 Area Agencies on Aging offer some legal services to older adults. Assistance includes legal advice and representation by an attorney as well as benefits and rights counseling or representation by a non-lawyer to older people with social or economic need. 
  • 2012-2016 State Plan on Aging
    Every four years the Department of Aging prepares a strategic plan that focuses on the needs of older Pennsylvanians. The State Plan reflects a shared vision and is a product of input from multiple interests and individuals. While the plan is administered by the Department of Aging, it represents a comprehensive plan for all older Pennsylvanians.
  • Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center
    The U.S. Congress created the Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center in 1990 to "compile, archive, and disseminate information concerning Alzheimer's disease" for health professionals, people with Alzheimer's Disease and their families, and the public.
  • Translating Innovation to Impact: Evidence Based Interventions to Support People with Alzheimer's Disease and their Caregivers at Home and in the Community

    The U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) partnered with the Alliance for Aging Research to convene a working meeting on June 28, 2012, with support from MetLife Foundation. This white paper presents the findings and recommendations from the meeting.