Public Awareness & Education

 The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), Aging & Independence Services (AIS), and Outreach & Education staff in partnership with community partners, lead the charge to educate the public and provide comprehensive information about Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) to the community. The purpose of this group is to inform San Diegans of dementia and its impact and to raise awareness of community resources that can help. Countywide efforts include face-to-face presentations at numerous community venues; TV, print and social media campaigns; electronic announcements and newsletters; and the development and distribution of various online resources. Topics include the warning signs of dementia, early diagnosis of ADRD, specific supports for caregivers, and strategies for working with people living with dementia.

The shared commitment between AIS and community partners to increase public awareness of ADRD and its impact on communities has enabled the development of new efforts and the reach of new audiences. Recent activities include:

  • San Diego/Imperial Geriatric Education Center’s (SDIGEC) grant extension which has enabled various Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) partner organizations to continue their respective efforts to educate San Diegans about Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s San Diego produced nearly 40 different advertisements across television, print, and radio channels as part of their ongoing “Local Famous Faces” public awareness campaign. They also held over 100 trainings in 2018, including an 8-week series on early memory loss. Southern Caregiver Resource Center provided thirteen family caregiver trainings and provided a Spanish Caregiver Conference in October 2018. Champions for Health provided online trainings on the Physician Guidelines to 69 providers, and 500 clinicians were given a hardcopy of the handbook.  George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers, Inc. also created a free, online training on dementia specifically tailored for residential caregivers.
  • HHSA’S participation in a national webinar hosted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Alzheimer’s Association, and National Association of Counties (NACo).  HHSA’s presentation highlighted local efforts to educate the community, develop policies, mobilize partnerships, and assure a competent workforce to address the challenges brought on by Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Approval of a Dementia-Friendly component as a priority focus area in the Age Well Action Plan (Age Well San Diego)—the County’s five-year initiative to create livable communities for all ages, including older adults, those with cognitive impairment, and caregivers.
  • A Dementia-Friendly work-group (Dementia-Friendly Theme Team) was formed focuses on the needs of residents with dementia as well as their caregivers. In 2018, the Dementia-Friendly Theme Team encouraged community members to complete the short, online Dementia Friends training at www.DementiaFriendsUSA.org.
  • A recently trained team of local leaders to offer in-person Dementia Friends session(s) for community members and organizations. The in-person session(s) will provide a more comprehensive understanding of dementia, including how it affects those living with it, the associated stigma, and how each of us can be more compassionate and supportive to those with the disease who we may encounter.

For more information about Public Awarness and Education, please contact Matthew Parcasio at Matthew.Parcasio@sdcounty.ca.gov or Manpreet  Mumman at Manpreet.Mumman@sdcounty.ca.gov.