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G4O6. Support aging Hoosiers

The number of caregivers (in thousands) who are trained and provide services to individuals with dementia

Current Value




Number of Caregivers (in thousands)

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Story Behind the Curve


As the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias increases, so does the need for more members of the paid workforce to be knowledgeable and skillful about working with a diverse population of people living with dementia as well as with their families. A dementia-capable workforce addresses the full arc of care — from identifying a concern  to screening, detecting and diagnosing within clinical settings, to treating, monitoring and caring for those living with these diseases in residential or home and community-based settings. 

People with dementia tend to have larger networks of family and friends involved in their care compared with people without dementia. Family members and friends in dementia care networks tend to provide help for a larger number of tasks than do those in non-dementia care networks. Individuals with dementia living in the community are more likely than older adults without dementia to rely on multiple unpaid caregivers (often family members); 30% of older adults with dementia rely on three or more unpaid caregivers, whereas 23% of older adults without dementia do so. 


More than 11 million Americans provide unpaid care for a family member or friend with dementia,  a contribution to the nation valued at nearly $350 billion. Eighty-three percent of the help provided to older adults in the United States comes from family members, friends or other unpaid caregivers.426 Nearly half of all caregivers (48%) who provide help to older adults do so for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Among caregivers of spouses with dementia who are at the end of life, close to half provide care without the help of other family or friends.392 Living alone with dementia may be a particular challenge for certain subgroups, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, who may experience greater isolation for reasons ranging from social stigma to a diminished social network of available family or friend caregivers.

Source: Last Accessed March 2024.

What Works

The Alzheimer's Association launched an online training program for professional care workers in long-term and community-based settings informed by its nationally recognized Dementia Care Practice Recommendations. The essentiALZ® – Alzheimer’s Association Training and Certification educates professional care workers on applying current evidence-based, personcentered care practices when caring for people living with dementia. 

Source: Last accessed March 2024.


More than 1 million additional direct care workers will be needed between 2021 and 2031 — more new workers than in any other single occupation in the United States.

The current public health workforce has had little or no formal preparation on dementia as a public health issue.¹ Further, shortages of qualified healthcare workers could jeopardize care for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Current training does not adequately prepare healthcare workers to deal with the unique needs of people living with dementia.

Although more direct care workers will be needed in the years ahead, the long-term care field is already struggling to fill existing direct care positions. Workforce challenges are driven by persistently low compensation and poor job conditions for direct care workers.

Source: Last accessed March 2024. Last accessed March 2024.

Corrective Action

One important effort to build the health care workforce is the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program  (GWEP) funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, which comprises a network of 48 GWEPs across most U.S. states and two territories.833 The goals of this program are to educate and train the health care workforce to provide value-based care for older adults in integrated geriatrics and primary care models and to deliver community-based programs that improve health outcomes for older adults. 

The Healthy Brain Initiative’s (HBI) State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia, The 2018–2023 Road Map charts a course for state and local public health agencies and their partners to act quickly and strategically to prepare all communities by stimulating changes in policies, systems, and environments. Many of the Road Map’s 25 expert-developed actions would help educate and inform professionals about Alzheimer’s, other dementias, cognitive issues, and dementia caregiving to better serve these populations.

Source: Last accessed March 2024. Last accessed March 2024.

PoE Page 47 Last accessed May 2024

2 Alzheimer’s Association. 2022 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures. Alzheimers Dement 2022;18. Last accessed March 2024.  page 42. Last accessed March 2024.

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Scorecard Container Measure Action Actual Value Target Value Tag S A m/d/yy m/d/yyyy