San Diego launches Alzheimer’s Project

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – There is no treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but now there is a plan here in San Diego, to battle the epidemic, and the County Board of Supervisors approved it Tuesday.

The Alzheimer’s Project: A Call To Arms, has been launched, but the work has only just begun as Alzheimer’s is the third leading cause of death in San Diego County.

A doctor said it best on Tuesday, “We can count people who have the disease and we can count the number of caregivers, but we can’t possible count all the tears.”

Less than a week after the body of his wife Sally was found, Bob Estabrook and his daughter Kim are at the County Board of Supervisors meeting, listening to a description of The Alzheimer’s Project.

Sally had Alzheimer’s and wandered away from her campsite in Julian.

Preventing wandering is just one of the priorities of the multi-tiered initiative, by getting more people registered with the Sheriff’s Take Me Home program.

“It gives us photos, descriptive data, and idiosyncrasies of the person,” said Bill Gore.

“It saves us precious minutes if that person is wandering or is non-communicative and comes in contact with law enforcement,” he said.

The Alzheimer’s Project will focus on four aspects of dementia in San Diego County: care, cure, clinical, and public awareness.

A fundraising campaign called Part the Clouds will raise money for research to find a cure.

“Hopefully someday the diagnosis of dementia does not have to be a death sentence,” Darlene Shiley.

Area scientists say those resources will help turn the ideas, into drug treatments.

“We’re gonna help you move your really good idea to the next stage. Hoping that really good idea at the next stage proves promising enough that we can actually move it to a therapy,” said Dr. William Mobley.

The Project will help doctors streamline diagnoses and help caregivers with the difficult tasks of taking care of their loved ones, and take care of themselves.

“There are 60,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease. They and their caregivers need to know they are not alone. This is an unprecedented effort to tackle this disease,” said Dianne Jacob.

For Bob Estabrook, it’s now about sharing information with others.

If somehow through my experience we can relieve them or help their stress levels, that’d be great,” said Bob.

Some of the things planned for 2015, is a conference for Spanish speaking caregivers, a brain health summit, and training for first-responders on how to approach someone with Alzheimer’s.

It is all about helping those affected by the disease.

Categories: KUSI