When people living with dementia need prolonged and intensive assistance, caregiving can take a toll on caregivers’ health, well-being, and ability to work. The pandemic has exacerbated these challenges not only for the nearly 15 million adults who provide care to people living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, but also for their communities. When unpaid dementia caregiving cannot be sustained, paid or formal care — such as residential or long-term care — often is necessary.
Through their responsibility to protect the public’s health, governmental public health agencies can advance proven strategies to support and maintain the health, well-being, and productivity of caregivers. This “chief health strategist” leadership begins with convening key partners and caregivers, using data and science to recognize and diagnose problems, and developing a systemic, equitable approach to ensure effective, sustained dementia caregiving.
A new action brief from the Alzheimer’s Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Promoting Caregiving Across the Full Community: The Role for Public Health Strategists — offers an overview of the challenges of dementia caregiving, including service fragmentation and gaps. Six proposed strategies advance equity in caregivers’ access to and use of effective supports throughout healthcare systems, workplaces, and communities. A case study in Arizona features such an approach, describing the development of effective systems to promote caregiving across the full community improve health outcomes.
- To learn more about resources available from the Alzheimer’s Association, visit www.alz.org.
- The CDC’s Healthy Brain Initiative charts a course for state and local public health agencies and their partners at cdc.gov/aging/pdf/2018-2023-Road-Map-508.pdf.
- Visit chronicdisease.org/page/healthyaging/nacdd-action-on-healthy-aging-and-brain-health to learn more about the work of NACDD on Healthy Aging and Brain Health.
Read more from the Impact Brief below.
- Developing a Framework to Accelerate Oral Health Equity Through Health Systems Transformation
- Creating Diverse Partnerships is a Key Strategy for Promoting Medical-Dental Integration￼
- Health Equity Primer (2022)
- 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Resources￼
- 2022 Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge Open Through Sept. 7