More than 60,000 San Diegans are living with Alzheimer’s – a number that is expected to climb to 100,000 by 2030.
Nearly 137,000 San Diegans provide people with Alzheimer’s 156 million hours of unpaid care each year worth nearly $2 billion.
The cost of medical care for San Diegans with Alzheimer’s over their lifetimes is estimated at between $13.5 and $27 billion now and could soar as high as $42 billion by 2030.All of those figures were part of a pair of newly released reports on Alzheimer’s by the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency as the County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the implementation of the Alzheimer’s Project.
The project was launched last year as an unprecedented initiative to bring together the region’s world-renowned researchers, health care experts and political forces to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, address the needs of caregivers and ease the burden on local health care systems.
“When you look at the list of the partners that we have and collaboration that we’ve built, it’s pretty remarkable and awesome that we - as a team - are on our way to making a big difference in our community,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “These two new County studies show the growing impact of the disease across our County. ”We have a huge challenge ahead of us and these studies are the latest proof.”
The project, part of the County’s Live Well San Diego, has already made progress on several fronts with new resources and improvements to existing ones:Created a San Diego-specific research fund called “Collaboration 4 Cure”
-Built a list of donors dedicated to the issue
-Enhancement by the Sheriff’s Department of its Take Me Home program, which helps law enforcement respond to reports of people with special needs that go missing
-Planned launch of a new website that allows people to register online for Take Me Home
-Increase public awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias by partnering with the San Diego County and City libraries for an outreach campaign during Older Americans Month in May
“We’ve had so many people involved in this project,” said Vice Chairman Dave Roberts. “One of the messages is that this is not over.
“This is just the beginning and this is the plan now for the next steps that we will be taking.”