SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Significant headway has been made in the fight against Alzheimer's disease in the San Diego region in the past year, but the hard
work is still to come, according to a report presented Tuesday to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
The Alzheimer's Project was launched by the board in March 2014. The unprecedented regional initiative works to advance clinical research, improve health care, educate residents, support patients and their caregivers and eventually find a cure for the illness.
``The silver tsunami is upon us,'' Supervisor Greg Cox said before the group presented its annual report to the board. ``Now is the time to make sure
our residents not only live well, but age well.''
Supervisor Dianne Jacob issued the call to action last year for the community to unite to fight Alzheimer's. Today's annual report presentation was designed to learn how far the effort had come and to learn what comes next.
``I don't think there is any other part of the country that has this,'' Jacob said. ``The over- 65 population is growing quicker than the younger population.''
The Board of Supervisors heard from two doctors, county officials, a nonprofit group and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who pledged the city's support in the collaborative effort.
``San Diego will find a cure for Alzheimer's, I'm convinced,'' Faulconer said. ``It's because of the collaboration. Let's keep pushing.''
The Alzheimer's Project is divided into four areas, including a cure roundtable aimed at drug development; a clinical roundtable focused on standards of practice for screening, evaluation and diagnosis; a care roundtable for those prone to wandering, training for care providers and first- responders; and a public awareness and education effort that also offers classes on Alzheimer's.
So far, according to Jacob, the Alzheimer's Project has strengthened the safety net through improvements in the Sheriff's Department's Take Me Home program; launched a research incubator for brain researchers; won a $2.5 million grant for San Diego State University to boost training for the next generation of geriatric health care workers; and developed the region's first standards of care.
About 62,000 residents in the region have dementia or Alzheimer's, amounting to about 8 percent of the 55 and older population, according to San Diego County Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Macchione. That number is expected to grow to about 94,000 by 2030.
Alzheimer's San Diego is a nonprofit organization getting the word out about the disease, while also helping to find a cure.
``Not a day does by that someone doesn't walk into our office and says `I wish I knew about you three years ago,''' Executive Director Mary Ball said. ``But if we are going to find a cure, we need people for clinical trials.''
A five year old girl's dream came true today with the help of the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Leona, who lives in San Marcos and is battling cancer, wished to have the ultimate pirate ship playhouse in her backyard.
In celebration of American Heart Month, Rady Children's Hospital hosted its 34th annual Heart Party. It was a chance for former heart patients and the doctors who treated them to reunite.
Fair, warm and dry weather continues through Saturday, but an onshore flow will bring low clouds and fog Saturday night and much cooler weather to the county on Sunday.
Neighbors say the Prince Recycling Center on Voltaire Street is attracting crime and transients, and they want the center to move out of the area.
Few of us really know how our coworkers spend their time when they are off the clock. In Thursday's Zevely Zone, Jeff gets to know Ryan Brothers - a writer here at KFMB Stations and News 8 - who put his own signature on Mission Trails Regional Park.
A San Marcos man who shot his girlfriend and left her body in her car, parked along northbound Interstate 15 near Escondido, was convicted Friday of first-degree murder.
A local company is on the cutting edge of ocean exploration using unmanned vehicles powered by wind and sun and the future looks bright for these ocean drones, which currently are being tested off the coast of San Diego.