Alzheimer’s disease is a growing public health crisis in Arizona. The impact of Alzheimer’s is projected to rise, and the most recent data show:

  • 150,000 people aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s in Arizona.
  • 13.4% of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
  • 257,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in Arizona.
  • 501 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • $9.6 billion is the value of the unpaid care.
  • $414 million is the cost of Alzheimer’s to the state Medicaid program.   

These numbers show that a public health approach is necessary to lessen the burden and enhance the quality of life for those living with cognitive impairment and their families.

Learn more about Arizona: Alzheimer’s Statistics, Cognitive Decline, Dementia Caregiving


Public health spotlight  

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) conducted a community needs assessment for caregivers, uncovering unique challenges faced by dementia caregivers in the state. To better meet this growing need, ADHS is working with local health departments to implement a dementia caregiving self-management program — Duet’s Finding Meaning and Hope (FM&H). FM&H enhances dementia caregivers’ skills to better ensure quality care for those living with dementia and emphasizes ways for caregivers to maintain their own health while caregiving. Through a contracted consulting firm, ADHS is providing coordination, training and technical assistance to local health departments to implement FM&H throughout communities. ADHS is also comprehensively evaluating the program and impact.

Explore public health action against Alzheimer’s

Learn more about areas essential to addressing Alzheimer's from a public health perspective.

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State plan overview

The Arizona Alzheimer’s Task Force was established in 2011 as a collaboration of the Governor’s Office on Aging, the Arizona Department of Economic Security Division of Aging and Adult Services, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium, and the Alzheimer’s Association Desert Southwest Chapter. The goal was to bring together a wide range of stakeholders, both public and private, to develop a plan to address the growing number of Arizonans with Alzheimer’s disease. In 2016, the Task Force published the Arizona Alzheimer’s State Plan: A Framework for Action, which was developed through the cooperation of more than 100 community members.

Resources for action 

State and local public health agencies around the country are taking action against Alzheimer’s by implementing the Healthy Brain Initiative State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia: The 2018-2023 Road Map. Public health practitioners can learn by example and find resources to help guide their response below.
 

Arizona Implementation
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Arizona Department of Health Services To help expand caregiver support statewide, the Arizona Department of Health Services launched and joined the Arizona Dementia Caregivers Alliance (with over a dozen additional organizations). As part of this Alliance, partnered with a community organization (Duet) to expand its caregiver support programming through local health departments.
Arizona Department of Health Services With partners, Arizona Department of Health Services conducted a comprehensive needs assessment of people living dementia and caregivers in the state, assessed providers to identify gaps in existing services and supports for people living with dementia and caregivers, and developed a three-pronged approach to address these issues
Banner Alzheimer's Institute The Banner Native American Outreach program increases awareness of Alzheimer's and other dementias among Arizona's American Indian communities, and works to establish better connections among tribal health organizations and urban Indian communities.

 
Arizona Resources
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BRFSS + Cognitive Decline

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Arizona (2015)
Alzheimer's Association Infographic: Cognitive Decline in Arizona (2015)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Arizona (2013)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Arizona (2012)

BRFSS + Caregivers

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Dementia Caregiving in Arizona (2016)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Arizona (2016)