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New Report Recommends Innovative Training Programs to Address Rise in Dementia Needs

February 29, 2024

Communities throughout the United States are facing the convergence of three trends that must be addressed urgently:

  • The rise of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias among our populations, 
  • The steady increase in the number of family caregivers providing unpaid care to aging or disabled adults, and 
  • The insufficient size of the dementia care workforce, which is unable to address current and future dementia care demand. 

Over the last year, Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) and RUSH University Medical Center’s Center for Excellence in Aging and its Center for Health and Social Care Integration (RUSH) partnered on a CalGrows dementia care specialist project focused on strengthening California’s dementia care workforce. 

The project goal was to understand opportunities to leverage community professionals better—focusing on social workers—to improve outcomes for persons living with dementia and their caregivers.

The results of this project are now available in a report called “California’s Hidden Dementia Care Asset: Social Workers Promoting a Family and Dementia Care Consultant Role for Social Workers and Community Professionals.”

Read the report to learn:

  • Insights gained from a national literature review and environmental scan of federal and California Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and caregiving policy and initiatives, as well as innovative dementia care programs, models, and training.
  • Observations and insights from 20 experts in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, caregiving, and dementia care training as well as a roundtable discussion that included thought leaders.
  • Three key recommendations for how to address this critical issue in our communities, which include developing pathways for social workers and other community professionals to get specialized training in dementia and family dynamics.