California Unveils State Plan for Alzheimer’s; Emphasizes LTC Policy Changes

California leaders recently completed a 10-year state plan for combating Alzheimer’s disease, which is estimated to double among Californians by the year 2030.

“As the author of the legislation calling for the state plan, I wanted to bring together the best minds in California to develop new ways to address the epidemic that is Alzheimer’s disease,” Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-San Jose) said in a release. “If we don’t act now before the epicenter of the crisis hits us in 10 years, the economic and human costs will be insurmountable. Procrastination is simply not an option.”

The state plan is intended to streamline government functions, reduce costs, and increase efficiency through effective use of existing resources. Its goals and recommendations include a commitment to research and system changes that minimize societal stigma and improve detection, diagnosis, treatment, and care for individuals and families impacted by the disease.

It also addresses the challenges and opportunities to finance the recommendations. These include restoring and enhancing California’s home and community-based care system, as well as support for family caregivers and the training of professionals.

“Unless we invest in home and community-based care, including the family caregiver, we are simply cost shifting to nursing homes, emergency rooms and hospitals, which places an even greater burden on the state,” said Joshua Chodosh, MD, MSHS, co-chair of the State Plan Task Force. “The cost of medical and social supports for Alzheimer’s just in California is expected to jump from $16 billion to $31.3 billion by 2030.”

Implementing the plan’s recommendations for long-term care policy changes will require briefings over the coming months with the governor and other policymakers and leaders.

The plan was funded support from The SCAN Foundation, The California Endowment, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, and Archstone Foundation.

Read more

California’s State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease: An Action Plan for 2011–2021 (PDF format)

Topics: Articles