..........By Supervisor Greg Cox, County of San Diego and Roberto Velasquez, Vice President, ..........Programs for the Alzheimer’s Association San Diego/Imperial Chapter

For every year that passes, the risk of someone who we love becoming affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease increases. For many Latino families, the risk of a grandparent, other family member or elderly friend developing dementia may be significantly greater given the prevalence to known or suspected risk factors such as age, education, and vascular disease (including diabetes).

South County residents are predominantly Hispanic, making up over 54% of the population in 2008. Although Latinos comprise the largest minority population in South Bay, many people are unaware that Latinos may be at the greatest risk for developing dementia.

That is why starting from the month of May, the “Hispanic Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month” with funding from the County and the California Endowment, the Alzheimer’s Association start actively working to spread the word about the disease, and providing help, hope and support for the individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s.

Because of strong family ties, many Latinos in particular find that the disease and its symptoms affect more than just the patient. Families who care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can find comfort and support in many of the programs and information offered free of charge in English and Spanish by the Alzheimer’s Association San Diego/Imperial Chapter.

The Project enhances the capacity of local health and social service agencies to better serve dementia-affected adults, their families and caregivers by providing them with Alzheimer’s training and cultural sensitivity training. Two agencies, Casa Familiar, Inc. and San Ysidro Health Services, Inc., the principal providers of community-based services to Hispanic elderly in the targeted area, will serve as the 2 primary Focal Point agencies for the Project. Services include case management, information & referrals, diagnostic and health services, support groups, Safe Return, Memories in the Making™ art program, and educational programs.

The good news is that there are strategies that people of any age can adopt to keep your brain healthy as you age; and while you can do everything “right” and still not prevent Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Association offers the following tips to help Maintain Your Brain:

1. Head first: Good health starts with your brain. It’s one of the most vital body organs, and it needs care and maintenance.
2. Take brain health to heart: What’s good for the heart is good for the brain. Do some-thing every day to prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke – all of which can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s.
3. Your numbers count: Keep your body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels within recommended ranges.
4. Feed your brain: Eat less fat and more antioxidant-rich foods.
5. Work your body: Physical exercise keeps the blood flowing and may encourage new brain cells. Do what you can – like walking 30 minutes a day – to keep both body and mind active.
6. Jog your mind: Keeping your brain active and engaged increases its vitality and builds reserves of brain cells and connections. Read, write, play games, learn new things, do crossword puzzles.
7. Connect with others: Leisure activities that combine physical, mental and social elements may be most likely to prevent dementia. Be social, converse, volunteer, join a club, or take a class.
8. Heads up! Protect your brain: Take precautions against head injuries. Use your car seat belts; unclutter your house to avoid falls; and wear a helmet when cycling.
9. Use your head: Avoid unhealthy habits. Don’t smoke, drink excessive alcohol or use street drugs.
10. Think ahead – start today! You can do something today to protect your tomorrow.

The Alzheimer’s Association San Diego/Imperial Chapter, with funding from The California Endowment, the County, The Parker Foundation, Johnson & Johnson/Society for Arts and Health, and Forest Laboratories, Inc. has implemented a culturally competent and linguistically appropriate “Dementia Care Network” (DCN) in the South Bay region of San Diego County, specifically targeting the Hispanic/Latino community.



For more information call 619.428.2877or 1-800 272 39000

Murphy Canyon Road Suite 250 San Diego, CA  92123


TEL- 619-427-4111 Email -

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