Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow, irreversible decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. It is the most common type of dementia among people over age 65. In 2016, it was estimated that over 5 million Americans were living with Alzheimer’s and as many as 16 million will have the disease in 2050. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s.
According to 2014 data compiled by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Alzheimer’s disease is the 3rd leading cause of death in Washington, after cancer and heart disease, occurring at a rate of 43.6 per 100,000 people, compare to the national rate of 25.4. Chelan and Douglas Counties have particularly high rates, reported as 47.8 per 100,000 (Chelan)1 and 47.5 per 100,000 (Douglas County) 1 in comparison to national statistics at 29.3 per 100,000.2
In an effort to address the growing problem, Washington State developed a “Washington State Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias” released in 2016, to address Alzheimer’s disease, from the impact on individuals and their families to the impact on rural populations to the cost of care. The plan is being implemented by the Dementia Action Collaborative, a group of public and private partners committed to preparing Washington in managing the growing dementia population.
Primary Care Resources
Provides programs required under the Older Americans Act and the WA State Senior Services Act. Services include specialized programs to serve adults > age 60 and > age 18 with functional disabilities. Call for information and ask for a Care Coordinator (English and Spanish spoken). Branch offices are available in Moses Lake and Omak.
Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) Choosing Wisely® initiative. An effort to improve communication between clinicians and patients about the risks and benefits of medical tests and treatments, helping patients make informed decisions about their healthcare plan.
Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center: A portal created by the U.S. Congress that provides clinical practice tools and news regarding Alzheimer’s research and federal initiatives.
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA): The AFA provides resources for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers and families.
Caregiver Action Network (CAN): The CAN is a family caregiver organization that provides support for people caring for loved ones with chronic conditions.
Family Caregiver Navigator: An interactive map that helps family caregivers locate public, nonprofit, and private programs and services nearest their loved one. Resources include government health and disability programs, legal resources, disease-specific organizations and more.
Alzheimer’s Association Information for Healthcare Professionals: Downloadable patient and caregiver resources, including educational packets for individuals with suspected Alzheimer’s, newly- diagnosed individuals, and early stage to mid-to-late stage caregivers.
Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s’ Disease: Your Easy-to-Use Guide from the National Institute on Aging. Guides for family members and others caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease at home. Packs of 25 free of charge.
Dementia Safety Information Kit Developed by the WA State Dementia Action Collaborative, this kit for patients and families focuses on safety.
Additional materials are available on the Alzheimer’s Disease Community Health page.
Alzheimer’s Training for Health Care Providers (Source: University of Kentucky): A library of webcasts for clinicians on Alzheimer’s and Non Alzheimer’s Disease Dementias diagnosis and patient management. Credits available for course completion.
Choosing Wisely Physician Communication Modules: Instructional modules for clinicians that support recommendations from the Choosing Wisely campaign.
- Source: Center for Health Statistics, Washington State Department of Health (10/2016).
- Source: US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.