Alzheimer’s and the Financial Burden on Families in San Diego
Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It not only takes a toll on the patients themselves but also on their families who provide care and support. In San Diego, the burden of Alzheimer’s is exacerbated by the high cost of living and limited accessibility to essential services.
One of the most challenging aspects of Alzheimer’s is the loss of capacity to make financial and legal decisions at the very time when important decisions need to be made. This can lead to costly mistakes and a lack of financial discipline when it is most crucial. Additionally, Alzheimer’s is a disease of subtraction, depleting bank accounts, eroding memories and relationships, and adding stress, regret, paperwork, and debt.
Eugenia Welch, the president and CEO of Alzheimer’s San Diego, describes the disease as one of the most expensive for families to cope with. The financial burden of Alzheimer’s can be devastating, draining families’ resources and causing significant financial strain. Unfortunately, this burden is even more pronounced in San Diego, where the cost of living is high, transportation is not easily accessible, and support systems may be lacking.
Janet Hamada-Kelley, the executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association San Diego/Imperial Chapter, highlights the challenges faced by individuals and families in San Diego. The need for transportation to access necessary services adds an additional layer of complexity and expense. However, she also points out that San Diego is a hub for Alzheimer’s and dementia research, with renowned healthcare systems and institutions supporting care and research efforts – a significant advantage for the community.
Unfortunately, if current trends continue, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s is expected to increase. Epidemiologists estimate that there are already 100,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in San Diego County, and that number is projected to reach 115,000 by 2030. The aging population contributes to this upward trend, making Alzheimer’s a growing concern for the region.
Anya Delacruz, the associate executive director of ElderHelp, emphasizes the aging population factor and predicts that San Diego will have a higher proportion of older adults in the coming years. As life expectancy increases, more individuals will likely experience some form of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Despite the challenges, there is hope on the horizon. New and future treatments, such as the drug Leqembi, which has shown promise in slowing cognitive decline in early Alzheimer’s patients, offer hope for those affected by the disease. However, the financial strain on families remains an overwhelming concern.
The article goes on to discuss the experiences of two San Diego families who have been directly impacted by Alzheimer’s. Both families have different financial situations, but they share a common struggle in dealing with the costs of care. They have sought financial resources to alleviate the burden, but even with assistance, they still face significant gaps in covering their expenses.
The stories of these families highlight the pressing need for more support and resources to help families cope with the financial challenges of Alzheimer’s. As the prevalence of the disease continues to rise, it is crucial for the community and policymakers to address the financial burden on families and ensure accessible and affordable care options are available.
In conclusion, Alzheimer’s is a double-edged disease that not only takes a toll on the individuals diagnosed but also places a significant financial burden on their families. In San Diego, this burden is intensified by the high cost of living and limited accessibility to essential services. However, the region also benefits from being a hub for Alzheimer’s and dementia research, offering hope for improved treatments and support in the future. Nonetheless, there is a pressing need for increased resources and assistance to help families navigate the financial challenges associated with Alzheimer’s.