The Alzheimer's Association is releasing important guidance urging policymakers to implement new policy solutions to address the dramatic and evolving issues affecting nursing homes and assisted living communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more from the Alzheimer’s Association: Improving the State Federal Response to COIVD-19 in Long-Term Care Settings.
In addition, the Alzheimer’s Association called on the federal government to show greater urgency to protect the health and safety of residents living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care settings. Read more about the association’s rapid point-of-care testing solution.
The Alzheimer’s Association has new resources available highlighting the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals living with Alzheimer's and other dementias. These materials rely on data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that show that deaths due to Alzheimer's and dementia are significantly higher than average:
- Background Information: Describes how the statistics are calculated and provides possible explanations for the elevated number of dementia deaths.
- State-by-State Table: Provides number and percent or dementia deaths above average by state in table format.
- Map: Visualizes the percent of dementia deaths above average by state.
New Reports of Impact of COVID-19 on Long-Term Care Staff: Across the country, nursing homes are seeing dangerous testing lags or are not utilizing point-of-care tests, hindering efforts to prevent spread of the coronavirus. Recent news coverage highlight the current impact of community spread on long-term care communities:
Long-term care facilities account for about 1% of the U.S. population, but represent 40% of COVID-19 deaths. It remains critical that state governments adopt and implement the Alzheimer’s Association’s Long-Term Care Policy Recommendations including prioritizing rapid testing, PPE and strike teams to not disrupt care to people with dementia.
The Alzheimer's Association is working with policymakers to identify and implement new policy solutions that address the immediate and long-term issues impacting care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Alzheimer’s Association is encouraged by recent CMS and CDC efforts to enable visitation, reuniting residents with their families and reducing the harmful impact social isolation has had on these individuals. As more families move toward this important milestone, the Alzheimer’s Association recommends families and long-term care settings remain diligent in following proven COVID-19 protocols. For people living with dementia who are at greater risk for contracting COVID-19, it is especially important to continue to take extra precaution to protect these individuals.
Unfortunately, the impact of the pandemic has continued to magnify the crisis in long-term care. Please consider checking out this NBC News piece - America now knows that nursing homes are broken. Does anyone care enough to fix them?
Using electronic health record data from 61.9 million American adults, researchers at Case Western University found the risk of contracting COVID-19 was twice as high for people in the study with dementia than for those without it—while among those in the study with dementia, Blacks had close to three times the risk of being infected with COVID-19 as did whites. The findings were published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association on Feb. 9. The New York Times coverage - People With Dementia Are Twice as Likely to Get Covid, Huge Study Finds.
Black, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian adults expect and experience more barriers when accessing dementia care, according to two new national surveys released recently as part of the Alzheimer’s Association 2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.
This year’s special report—Race, Ethnicity and Alzheimer’s—examines perspectives and experiences of Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native and White Americans with regard to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. The special report also finds that half or more of Black, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian American caregivers say they have experienced discrimination when navigating health care settings for their care recipient. Read the full report at alz.org/facts.
The Healthy Brain Initiative’s Road Map series includes promotion of health equity as a guiding principle to accelerate progress against dementia across all communities. This includes addressing disparities such as those mentioned above, rebuilding trust among populations that have experienced structural and systemic injustices (including among Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asian Americans), and embracing the unique strengths of communities to advance health and well-being.
2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures also examines the impact COVID-19 is having on people living with Alzheimer’s. According to the report, there were at least 42,000 more deaths from Alzheimer’s and other dementias in 2020 compared with the previous five-year average—a 16% increase. Learn more at alz.org/publichealth-covid19.
In addition to the special report on race and ethnicity as well as COVID-19 data, 2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures provides the latest national and state-specific statistics on Alzheimer’s prevalence, incidence, mortality, cost of care, and caregiving. Updated state-specific fact sheets are available for each state and the District of Columbia. Download the full report, find infographics, and other quick facts at alz.org/facts.