Alzheimer’s disease is a growing public health crisis in Louisiana. The impact of Alzheimer’s is projected to rise, and the most recent data show:
- 92,000 people aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s in Louisiana.
- 13.6% of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
- 200,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in Louisiana.
- 363 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
- $4.8 billion is the value of the unpaid care.
- $765 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 Louisiana: Alzheimer’s Statistics, Cognitive Decline, Dementia Caregiving
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Public health spotlight
In Louisiana, the Office of Public Health within the Department of Health conducted training with all department supervisors to recognize and appropriately respond to the needs of their staff who are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Participants were offered continuing education units (CEU) upon successful completion.
In 2021, the Louisiana Department of Health’s Well Ahead Program hosted a Provider Education Network webinar where they promoted Principles for a Dignified Diagnosis from the Alzheimer's Association.
In September 2021, the Louisiana Department of Health was awarded a Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Public Health Program Award.
State plan overview
In 2008, the Louisiana Legislature created the Louisiana Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force through the enactment of Senate Concurrent Resolution 80 to study the impact of Alzheimer’s within the state and make recommendations to meet the growing issues presented by the disease. The Task Force included representatives from state agencies, care associations, long-term care providers and community organizations as well as caregivers, state legislators, and individuals directly impacted by the disease. The Task Force presented their final report, The Impact of Alzheimer’s Disease in Louisiana: A Report by the Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force, to the Louisiana Legislature and Governor’s Office in October 2009.
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 Road Map for Public Health, 2023–2027. Public health practitioners can learn by example and find resources to help guide their response below.
|Louisiana Department of Health
||Assessed the awareness, experiences and training needs of Baton Rouge Police Department staff with respect to Alzheimer’s and other dementias, especially in regards to wandering behaviors; the assessment also included an educational component.
|Louisiana Department of Health
||Educated LDH supervisors about workplace support for caregivers (especially employees caring for people living with dementia); the online training module is available to supervisors in all state agencies, and Louisiana social workers can receive continuing education for successful completion of the module.
|Department of Health
||Louisiana Department of Health conducted a workshop for its employees on advance care and advance financial planning.