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California Leaders Confront Alarming Rise in Alzheimer's Cases
Date:3/9/2011

training of professionals.  Proper training and support for families can help forestall the demand for services in publicly funded, high-cost settings such as hospitals, emergency rooms and nursing homes.

"Unless we invest in home and community-based care, including the family caregiver, we are simply cost shifting to nursing homes, emergency rooms and hospitals, which places an even greater burden on the state," said Joshua Chodosh, M.D., MSHS, University of California, Los Angeles and VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, co-chair of the State Plan Task Force.  "The cost of medical and social supports for Alzheimer's just in California is expected to jump from $16 billion to $31.3 billion by 2030.  These and other statistics underscore the need for the State Plan."  

Next steps include advocacy for implementation of the Plan's recommendations for long-term care policy changes.  In the months ahead, a series of policy briefings will communicate the Plan's findings to the new governor, the Legislature and other policymakers and leaders.  This will better prepare them to address the escalation of Alzheimer's among California's population.  

"The stakes are high.  It's not just individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's who are of concern – in fact, virtually every Californian could be affected by the disease, including family caregivers, employers and taxpayers," said Mary Sundsmo, MBA, UC San Diego Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research, president of the Alzheimer's Association California Council. "The impact of Alzheimer's disease is already being felt across all sectors of society, but the sheer number of aging baby boomers means the worst is yet to come. We are proud that California is addressing this growing health crisis and joining 18 other states in developing its own Alzheimer's Disease State Plan."  

The State Plan was created in response to SB 491 by Sen. Elaine Alquist in
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SOURCE The Alzheimer’s Association
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