In 2015, 59 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had been providing care for at least the past two years. And, that care is often intense and intimate: 64.4 percent of caregivers help with personal care like bathing and feeding, while 81.7 percent help with household activities like cleaning and managing money. These data come from a new analysis – conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Alzheimer's Disease and Healthy Aging Program – of the Caregiver Module from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).
The data demonstrate just a fraction of the burden Alzheimer’s and other dementias places on caregivers. Individual fact sheets are now available for the 24 states that used the Caregiver Module in their 2015 BRFSS surveys. With these new data, states can see the scope and burden of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, including the toll that caregiving takes on mental and physical health.
We encourage you to download your state’s fact sheet not only for your own use, but to distribute to health officials, public health practitioners, and state policymakers. Tweet the fact sheet, link to it on your website, blog about it. Data are only useful when used to inform policy and systems change, and that can only happen if the data are widely distributed.