The Alzheimer's Association National Plan Care and Support Milestone Workgroup has developed and recommended milestones for patient and caregiver support and outlined achievement strategies.
Among the strategies for attainment of patient care milestones:
Among the strategies for attainment of caregiver support milestones:
- ensure receipt of culturally sensitive education, training, support materials
- enable family caregivers to continue to provide care while maintaining their own health and well-being
- assist families in planning for future care needs
- maintain the dignity and rights of people with Alzheimer's disease
- Assess and address the housing needs of people with Alzheimer's disease
Milestones include equipping and requiring clinicians to disclose cognitive status to people with clinically consequential cognitive impairment, building upon on existing efforts to reduce inappropriate use of antipsychotics and other psychotropic drugs, and enhancing care coordination.
An estimated 5.4 million Americans currently are living with Alzheimer's disease. Total payments for the care of people with Alzheimer's and other dementias are projected to be $236 billion in 2016, of which nearly 70 percent will be paid by Medicare and Medicaid.
By 2050, as many as 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer's disease. Unless prevention therapy or actual treatment is developed in the coming decades, total costs of care could reach an estimated $1.1 trillion in 2050. The workgroup notes that perhaps even more daunting than the costs of care is the burden on individuals and families.