SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A plan to increase support to caregivers of Alzheimer's victims and scientific research into the disease will be considered Tuesday by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
A letter signed by Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Dave Roberts said the disease is "reaching epidemic proportions" and "taking an escalating toll on San Diego County households and the region's healthcare system."
More than 60,000 area residents suffer from Alzheimer's, and 80 percent are cared for at home, according to the supervisors. The figure expected to double by 2030.
Alzheimer's disease is the third leading cause of death in the county, they said.
What Jacob and Roberts call "The Alzheimer's Project" is designed to bring together caregivers and scientists in a way that will improve patient care and treatment.
They're proposing having staff seek input from caregivers, researchers and organizations to develop a countywide plan to improve a network of available services, create a public education campaign on spotting warning signs of the disease, take inventory of caregiver resources, and support legislation that increases funding for research or caregivers.
Staff would then report back on their findings in the fall.
Jacob and Roberts said there are "a lot of encouraging signs" on the research front, including a nationwide initiative launched by neuroscientists in January to study a protein that might play a role in Alzheimer's.
Also at Tuesday's meeting, the county's Chief Administrative Officer will present a proposed $5.06 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The spending total would be a 1.6 percent increase over the current fiscal year.
The county's two-year "Operational Plan" includes a $4.85 billion budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year.
Hearings on details of the plan are set to begin June 9.