Close to two-thirds of all US nursing home residents have some type of cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer's disease, and the quality of care and quality of life of these people has long been called into question. In this overview we first clarify the ongoing importance of nursing home care for people with Alzheimer's, even as policy makers "rebalance" long-term supports and services with home and communitybased programs. We next identify the components of optimal care for people with Alzheimer's in nursing homes, and we highlight care innovations already in use. Finally, we summarize policy-relevant challenges to implementing best practices and innovations and explore potential policy solutions. Federal and state policy makers have a critical role to play in ensuring that nursing home residents with Alzheimer's disease have access to the appropriate, high-quality care that they and their families expect.