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Alzheimer's Disease in California

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Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease of the brain that begins with the memory loss and progresses to total disability and death. At age 65, the risk of AD begins to increase rapidly, with the probability of AD and dementia doubling approximately every five years. Based on the demographics of the State of California, the impact of AD will increase dramatically in the next 20 years.

The 2009 "Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures in California: Current Status and Future Projections" report details the broad and significant implications that the increased prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions will have on California’s businesses, public programs, and affected families.

  • One-tenth of the nation's population living with Alzheimer's reside in California.
  • The elderly are the most rapidly growing segment of the population, with the first wave of the baby boomers reaching 65 in 2011.
  • With this rapid population growth, the numbers of Californians with AD will grow exponentially; projected to rise from approximately 588,000 currently, to over 1.1 million by 2030.
  • Especially hard-hit will be many of California's ethnic populations. The number of California's Latinos and Asians living with Alzheimer's disease will triple by 2030; and California's African Americans living with Alzheimer's disease will double by 2030.
  • AD also affects younger Californians as they struggle to meet the care needs of their elders, substantially compromising family members' time, quality of life, and even productivity in the work place.

The growing numbers of individuals with Alzheimer’s will impact the people providing care — most significantly family members — emotionally, socially and financially.

  • There are 1.1 million Californians caring for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias

figure source: The 2009 "Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures in California: Current Status and Future Projections"