Experts predict a sharp increase in instances of O.C. Alzheimer’s disease.
As the population ages, Alzheimer’s disease, which causes progressive mental degeneration, is on the rise. The California Department of Public Health has some startling figures: By 2040, the number of Orange County adults aged 55 and up who have Alzheimer’s disease will have increased by 122 percent, and those aged 65 and up will have increased by 136 percent.
The1 county’s growing number of Alzheimer’s patients would have effects over the next 18 years, including a loss of employment and financial consequences for families affected by the disease.
The Latino, Black, and Asian American communities of Orange County are also of worry, as they may lack access to critical medical treatment, according to the research.
According to Larissa Haiker, family services manager at the Alzheimer’s Association of Orange County, areas comprised of minorities have less opportunities to be diagnosed due to a lack of access, and so receive less care as they live with the condition.
“Then we’ve squandered all of this time,” Haiker explained. “Had they received a diagnosis and access to care sooner, the family may have begun planning for the future, figuring out how to pay for care, and coordinating legal and financial documentation.
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