Dementia Long-Term Care Policy Options for Family Caregivers and Medicare
n 2013, my colleagues at RAND published an estimate of the cost of dementia to millions of families and the United States more broadly, reporting it to be the most costly condition in America. 3 The team found that the vast majority of dementia costs are attributable to longterm services and supports (LTSS), rather than medical care. The number of Americans who will need LTSS is expected to double by the year 2050. As the nation's population grows grayer, the costs of dementia LTSS will only
... a LTSS will only soar. Following RAND's landmark research estimating the extraordinary monetary costs of dementia, RAND researchers challenged themselves to answer the question: "What can be done about this?" I led a team that interviewed key representatives of national, state, and local stakeholder groups. Their views, combined with research on existing national dementia and longterm care reports, were evaluated to identify policy options that have the greatest impact on improving dementia LTSS. This policy evaluation was the first to examine promising LTSS policy solutions specifically for those living with Alzheimer's and other related dementias (referred to hereafter as dementia) and culminated in the RAND report, Improving Dementia Long-Term Care: A Policy Blueprint. 4 1 The opinions and conclusions expressed in this testimony are the author's alone and should not be interpreted as representing those of the RAND Corporation or any of the sponsors of its research. 2 The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. RAND is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest.