Skip to content

Dementia Capability Toolkit – 2011


While a definitive diagnosis is difficult, it is estimated that between 1999 and 2001 there were around 3 million people age 65+ living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias in the United States, and in 2011 it was estimated that there were over 5 million Americans of all ages with Alzheimer’s disease. This toolkit was created to help establish dementia-capable systems where programs are tailored to the unique needs of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and their caregivers.

Key Points

The needs of people living with dementia include, but are not limited to, accommodating memory loss, as well as a variety of physical, cognitive, and behavior symptoms that are a result of the dementia. This toolkit provides resources for seeking additional information on a variety of topics, including prevalence and impact of dementia, identification and awareness of possible dementia, measuring functional ability for care planning and resource allocation, information, assistance, and options counseling, understanding decision-making capacity for care planning and resource allocation, services capable of meeting the unique needs of persons with dementia and caregivers, support resources for persons with early stage Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder, caregiver support resources, resources for diverse and underserved persons with dementia and caregivers, safety resources, self-directed services, workforce training and tools, and quality assurance systems.

How to Use

This toolkit provides both national and state-by-state information on the prevalence and impact of dementia in the United States. Early identification of a possible dementia is important, and the only way to increase this possibility is to educate people and make them aware. Therefore, this toolkit is essential for local officials who need to better educate themselves, and their community on the warning signs of dementia, as well as how to best manage it once they or a family member are diagnosed.

View full report: Dementia Capability Toolkit – 2011 (PDF – 112 KB)

Stay Informed — For Free!

The weekly, award-winning AARP Livable Communities e-Newsletter provides local leaders with information and inspiration for making their town, city or neighborhood more livable for older adults and people of all ages. Subscribe today!