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Posted 10/31/2023

REPORT: Guiding the Care Journey: Building Dementia Workforce & System Capacity through Care Navigation

REPORT: Guiding the Care Journey: Building Dementia Workforce & System Capacity through Care Navigation

As the population ages, cases of Alzheimer’s and related dementias are on the rise worldwide. In fact, the number of people living with dementia is expected to nearly double from 7.2 million to 13 million by 2040. This drastic increase will exacerbate demands on those working in dementia care, on families providing care, and the healthcare system as a whole. As many families have discovered, a complicated and long-term journey of care follows a dementia diagnosis that can be both mentally and financially devastating to families. A new report by the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging takes a deep dive into how medical professionals, paraprofessionals, and families can navigate that care.

The report, titled Guiding the: Care Journey: Building Dementia Workforce and System Capacity through Care Navigation, is broken down into two overarching themes: Develop a Framework to Embed and Scale Care Navigation on Dementia-Care Teams, and Expand Payment Mechanisms in Medicare to Incentivize the Adoption of Care Navigators. Each theme includes concrete recommendations providing a framework for health systems, community-based organizations, and Medicare payers to implement care-navigation services. Those recommendations are to:

  • Define and adapt the core services of dementia-care navigators across care settings, licensures, and levels of need
  • Identify and promote best practices to recruit, train, and retain dementia-care navigators
  • Leverage online and technology-based solutions to support dementia-care navigation tasks
  • Implement alternative payment models for comprehensive dementia care that delivers care-navigation services
  • Expand and clarify Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance on using traditional fee-for-service Medicare payment mechanisms for dementia-care navigation services
  • Embed care navigation services within Medicare Advantage Plans

Report author, Diane Ty, Senior Director of the Center for the Future of Aging is available to discuss the report’s findings, the challenges associated with the increase in dementia cases on the healthcare system and families, and on the future of dementia care.

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