San Diego County Approves Alzheimer’s Action Plan

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Dec. 2, 2014 (San Diego) The San Diego County board of supervisors approved the Alzheimer’s Action Plan, which is a public-private partnership. This unprecedented regional initiative is meant to “to address the toll of the disease on families, communities and our health care systems.”

Alzheimer’s is the third cause of death in the region, and affects 60,000 San Diegans. This is intended to help with the “emotional and physical toll of caregivers.”

The plan, according to doctor Bill Mobley, promises “a novel collaboration, a novel effort, in making things work across institutions, across disciplines.”This plan was the brainchild of Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, who is passionate about the elder tsunami that will overtake the County in the next 20 years or so. As the population ages we will see more people diagnosed with dementia, and this is an effort by the county to be proactive.

She was joined by Supervisor Ron Roberts and supported by the rest of the board. The vote to accept all the recommendations was accepted unanimously. Some of the challenges faced by the county is access to services, such as Adult health care, especially in rural areas, the East County and the North County. This is an area that needs improvement.

There are cultural barriers as well, which the County will work to solve and restart a Spanish program. There are other issues, such as access to clinical trails, which the program intends to solve.

This program is not just one group of stakeholders, but “participants include health care, County and City government, advocacy groups, caregivers, scientists, private residential and home care providers, law enforcement, philanthropists, community-based organizations serving caregivers and older adults, media representatives, and other concerned community members.”

This program ultimately intends to harness the research capabilities of the region, and find a cure. It also intends to unify diagnostic criteria and improve access to programs.

One of the early goals include education into the 10 signs of Alzheimer’s. These are: Memory loss that disrupts daily life. Challenges solving daily problems; Difficulty completing daily tasks at home or work; confusion with time or place; trouble understanding visual images and special relationships; new problems with words with speaking or writing; misplacing things and losing the ability to find them; decreased or poor judgment; withdrawal from work or hobby activities and changes in mood or personality.

You can find more at the Alzheimer’s Association.

The plan will also expand on the Take me Home program that the Sheriffs Dept. runs, to reduce and hopefully prevent wandering by dementia patients. You can register for this program right here, right now.

In the future it will expand services and access to services, as well as become a model on how to deal with this from multiple ways. They range from adult care, to provider help, to educating first responders, to research.

You can also find the full report here.

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Categories: Alzheimers, County of San Diego, Health

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