The Virginia Memory Project, one of four state dementia registries in the country, is set to become law thanks to recent legislation. HB 1455 is currently awaiting the signature of Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) and will officially establish the Virginia Remembrance Project in state law. This project, a collaboration between Virginia Commonwealth University and the Virginia Department of Health, aims to catalog cases of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases in the state to inform public policy development.

The registry collects data on disease cases and the number of caregivers in the state, with the goal of providing policymakers and public health leaders with information on disease prevalence, resource allocation, and policy solutions for individuals living with cognitive impairment and their caregivers. LeadingAge Virginia has expressed support for this bill, emphasizing the importance of collecting data related to brain health, memory and care for all Virginia adults. Melissa Andrews, president and CEO of LeadingAge Virginia, said that this information will help prioritize resources for individuals with memory loss and caregivers across the state.

Currently, the Virginia Memory Project has identified over 700,000 cases of dementia statewide. Individuals 18 and older can participate in the project by completing a confidential online survey. This initiative aims to provide valuable data to support the well-being of individuals with cognitive impairments and their caregivers in Virginia.

By Samantha Johnson

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