The Alzheimer’s Project aims to address the devastating toll of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in San Diego County. It brings together teams of experts and decision-makers that include members of our region’s top political leadership, research institutions, public universities, health care systems, caregiver groups, and other community organizations. Each of these teams convenes to discuss recommendations in four key focus areas of the initiative:
Collaboration4Cure unites scientists and experts to identify strategies to support local Alzheimer’s research efforts towards finding a cure
The Clinical Roundtable brings together healthcare providers to discuss strategies to equip practitioners with the knowledge and resources necessary to improve medical care for those with dementia
The Care Roundtable calls together Alzheimer’s caregivers and senior care organizations to explore ways to improve the impact and delivery of services
Public Awareness & Education focuses on providing comprehensive, dementia-related information to all San Diegans through various communication channels to increase community knowledge of the disease and its impact on our region
The Alzheimer’s Project aligns with components of the County of San Diego’s (County) 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, as well as the County’s Live Well San Diego vision of a region that is healthy, safe and thriving. The work of The Alzheimer’s Project is also included in the Roadmap for Aging in San Diego County (Aging Roadmap), a regional plan for services and supports for older adults now and into the future. Also included in the Aging Roadmap is Age Well San Diego, which enhances the work of the Alzheimer’s Project by focusing efforts on creating a community that is dementia-friendly. Progress has been made in multiple domains since the project launched; however, the number of people affected by this disease is projected to rise significantly.
The Alzheimer’s project began in 2014 when Dianne Jacob, then Chairwoman, made a call to action to address the Alzheimer’s epidemic and its toll on families, communities, and health care systems. The County Supervisor turned the spotlight, in the 2014 State of the County address, on the 60,000 San Diegans living with Alzheimer’s, the emotional and physical toll on caregivers, and the disease’s position as the third leading cause of death in the region. She highlighted the importance and need to develop a plan immediately to help ease the burden of Alzheimer’s and the need to support San Diego’s world-class researchers in their quest to find effective treatments and a cure.
Following Diane Jacob’s call to action, Supervisor Dave Roberts teamed up with her on the initiative. With unanimous support from the Board of Supervisors, The Alzheimer’s Project was born as a regional initiative on May 2014. Subsequently, several roundtable groups - focusing on cure, care, clinical and education/awareness issues - were established to craft a blueprint to address the burden of the disease. Project leaders completed an implementation roadmap and it was approved by the Board of Supervisors on March 2015. Over the past five years, roundtables led by a steering committee, continually convene to oversee the plan and track the region’s progress.
Today, The Alzheimer’s Project is an initiative moving vertically from educating the community to developing policies that address the challenges brought on by Alzheimer’s disease. Working all over the region, The Alzheimer’s Project collaborates with dedicated partners who continuously support researchers in their quest to find effective treatments and a cure for the growing number of San Diegans affected by this disease.
The Alzheimer’s Project has received national recognition for regional efforts in fighting Alzheimer’s disease by both the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the National Association of Counties.