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Meeting the demand for Alzheimer's patients will be difficult in Michigan

Courtesy of Unsplash

As the percentage of Michiganders over the age of 65 is set to increase 15% by 2025, the demand for Alzheimer's care will need to significantly increase to meet future demands.

According to the Alzheimer's Association of Michigan, to meet the demand for future Alzheimer's patients, the healthcare workforce will need to increase 23% by 2028 and 183% by 2050.

43 counties in Michigan don’t have a single neurologist and most of those counties are in central and northern Michigan.

Jean Barnas is a program director for the Alzheimer's Association of Michigan

She said the benefits in the Michigan Essential Provider Program have expanded, like providing more student loan forgiveness, but only applies to specific physicians

"Unfortunately, neurology was not included during the expansion. And so that's really our next step, really, working with Michigan legislators and trying to open up the program so that neurologists can get those same benefits," said Barnas.

Barnas added that Michigan’s Essential Provider Program expanded in March and the benefits will help with the placement and retention of healthcare personnel in high-demand areas.

The maximum loan forgiveness benefit increased from $100,000 to $300,000. But Barnas said the benefit doesn’t apply to healthcare professionals who specialize in Alzheimer's, dementia, or geriatrics.

Rick joined WCMU as a general assignment reporter in March 2022.