Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD)

In 2020, the Alzheimer’s Association estimated that there were 76,000 people aged 65 years or older living with Alzheimer’s disease in Colorado - the most common form of dementia. This number is anticipated to increase to 92,000 by 2025. Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) not only impact the person living with the disease, but also their friends and family members who serve as care partners. In 2021, the association estimated that there were 159,000 care partners, providing more than 184 million hours of unpaid care to individuals living with dementia. Because of the length and level of care required for people with ADRD, care partners for people living with dementia report worse health outcomes compared to care partners of older adults without dementia.

The work of the state to address these challenges is guided by the 2022-2027 Colorado ADRD State Plan. The plan lays out a path for addressing the special needs of Coloradans living with Alzheimer’s Disease, related dementias, and their care partners, through a public health approach that is evidence-based, promotes risk reduction and early diagnosis, and focuses on highly impacted populations (i.e., American Indian/Alaskan Natives, Black/African Americans, Latinx/o/a/e/Hispanic/Chicano/a). The plan includes actions that the state of Colorado and its partners must take. These actions are divided into four domains:

  • Empower and Engage the Public

  • Develop Policies and Build Partnerships

  • Assure a Competent Workforce

  • Monitor and Evaluate Data

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Background

In 2020, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) received BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act funds to build public health infrastructure to address dementia in Colorado. As a public health agency, CDPHE integrated a public health lens into ADRD work by including health equity, risk reduction, early detection and early diagnosis into the ADRD State Plan.

In April of 2021, CDPHE convened a multisectoral Advisory Committee including representatives from non-profit, government, private, community-based organizations, and individuals representing disproportionately impacted populations. CDPHE led a 15-month strategic planning process to develop the 2022-2027 Colorado ADRD State Plan, in collaboration with the state’s ADRD Advisory Committee and local communities.

The ADRD Advisory Committee has now folded into the ADRD Action Coalition (ADRDAC) to guide the implementation of the Colorado ADRD State Plan over the next five years (2022-2027). The ADRDAC will meet as four separate workgroups aligned with the above four domains of the State Plan, and welcomes participation from interested parties.