Alzheimer’s disease expected to double in California by 2040, triple in Hispanic communities

Alzheimer’s disease is already the third leading cause of death in California – behind heart disease and cancer – but the most recent projections released by the Alzheimer’s Association and the California Department of Public Health predict that the number of people Disease incidence in the state is expected to double by 2040, and even more drastically in Hispanic communities.

The recently released update to the report showed that the estimated 660,000 people with Alzheimer’s disease in 2019 could grow to more than 1.5 million by 2040, and that one in six Californians over the age of 65 years could develop Alzheimer’s disease. Although California’s population is expected to increase by 16% by 2040, the number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease will increase by 127%.

Hispanic and black communities will bear the brunt of this growth, the report said, with the number of Hispanic Californians living with the disease expected to more than triple over the next 20 years. Currently, Latinx communities are estimated to account for 20% of the estimated 8,000 cases in Santa Barbara County.

Kathryn Cherkas, director of programs for the Central Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, said it’s important to understand and address the factors that go into these outcomes, and respond by providing resources to affected communities. will need most in the future. .

The Promotores de Santa Barbara Network is one of the leading resources for Alzheimer’s disease education in Latin American communities, offering free educational webinars taught in Spanish in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association.

“It really is one of the best healthcare resources available,” Cherkas said. “What they do, they fill those gaps. They are looking; they speak; these are the people they serve.

The Central Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will also launch the county’s first Spanish-speaking support group, starting Jan. 22.


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According to statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association, one-third of Hispanic Americans say they have experienced discrimination when seeking health care, and half of non-white caregivers say they have experienced discrimination when browsing. in health care facilities for their care recipient. Typically, only the primary caregiver is included throughout the treatment process, which can leave close-knit families out of the loop.

“Latinx families would like more people to be involved in the process,” Cherkas said. “It’s not something our Western healthcare system does.”

Since most Latinx caregivers will be family members, when people come to see the Alzheimer’s Association, Cherkas said that always involves focusing on caregivers, who face a curve of illness. learning curve and life adjustment to care for a loved one.

“It’s normally the first priority – the carer,” she said. “They are in the trenches.” Cherkas said 100% of people will know someone who has been affected or will be affected by the disease themselves, referencing Rosalynn Carter’s quote: “There are only four types of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers.

Caregiving should also be a team effort, Cherkas said. “The neighbor who notices he’s left his door open, everyone in the apartment complex — you’re part of a care network,” she said.

Typical warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia include memory loss that interferes with daily life, difficulty performing familiar tasks, confusion, new problems with spoken words or in writing, or withdrawal from work or social activities. Cherkas encourages getting checked out as soon as possible, as the only treatments available are most effective early in the progression.

The disease is incurable and progressive, and each case presents in different ways. Cherkas said it’s important to evolve treatment as symptoms progress. “Everyone’s journey is different,” she said. “It’s okay if they don’t want to do the things they used to do.”

The Alzheimer’s Association’s research arm is third in the world on the subject, with only the US and Chinese governments spending more to study the disease. For more information, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.


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