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

  • 66,000 people aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s in Iowa.
  • 9.9% of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
  • 73,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in Iowa.
  • 60 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • $1 billion is the value of the unpaid care.
  • $676 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 Iowa: Alzheimer’s Statistics, Cognitive Decline, Dementia Caregiving

Public health spotlight

Explore public health action against Alzheimer’s

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

Public Health Topics
In Iowa, the Department of Public Health launched the Save Your Brain health education campaign focused on reducing the risk of cognitive decline and improving overall brain health.

Learn more about the Save Your Brain campaign

In September 2020, the Iowa Department of Public Health received a Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Program Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

State plan overview

In 2007, the Iowa Legislature established a task force through the enactment of Senate File 489 to assess the current and future impact of Alzheimer’s disease on residents, examine the existing resources available, and develop a strategy to mobilize a state response to the growing threat of Alzheimer’s disease. The task force included representatives from the long-term care industry, community organizations and state agencies as well as state legislators, caregivers, and individuals directly impacted by Alzheimer’s. After collecting testimony from advocacy groups and individuals to inform the plan’s recommendations, the task force published the Final Report: Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force in January 2008.

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.  
 

Iowa Implementation
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Department of Public Health Healthy Iowans includes delivery of Medicare annual wellness visits in progress report which includes assessing cognitive function

 
Iowa Resources
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Risk Factors + Risk Reduction

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Subjective Cognitive Decline In Iowa

Caregivers + BRFSS

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Iowa

BRFSS + Cognitive Decline

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Subjective Cognitive Decline In Iowa (2019)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Subjective Cognitive Decline in Iowa (2019)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Iowa (2015)
Alzheimer's Association Infographic: Cognitive Decline in Iowa (2015)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Iowa (2012)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Iowa (2011)
Alzheimer's Association Cognitive Impairment: Impact on Health in Iowa (2009)

BRFSS + Caregivers

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Dementia Caregiving in Iowa (2015)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Iowa (2015)

Care and Advance Planning

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Subjective Cognitive Decline in Iowa