The communities of Placer County are receiving a big assist from the California Department of Public Health for dementia-friendly services.

A $750,000 grant will help create space and resources for individuals with dementia over the following years.

Six statewide grants to fund “dementia-friendly” communities were awarded as part of a collaborative partnership to increase awareness about the disease. The main message is that residents with Alzheimer’s can lead fulfilling and engaging lives.

These services and priorities remind residents that the county is eager to meet the needs of all residents, especially the most vulnerable in the community. Placer County is home to an aging community of about 75,000 residents and is expected to grow to 120,000 by the next decade.

Unfortunately, Placer County saw a 162 percent increase to related deaths between 2003 and 2017, underscoring the importance of Alzheimer’s awareness and support.

The grant brings multiple players to the table, including health care, transportation, community organizations, law enforcement and various other sectors. This approach will help the community better understand the multiple issues facing individuals with dementia and their caregivers.

Officials will begin conducting assessments to learn more about the needs of the community and develop an advisory committee that can help guide priorities. Health officials are reaching out to citizens willing to help and support the county’s aging population.

The grant is made possible by Healthy Brain Initiative, a larger public health campaign to raise awareness about the disease and community-focused solutions.

In particular, the Health Brain Initiative aims to better educate the public, compile evidence that can lead to improved policy, communicate and promote cognitive health programs and caregiving and develop effective public health practices for all communities.

To learn more about what Placer County communities are doing to address the needs of our aging community, you can reach out to the advisory committee by emailing shagen@placer.ca.gov.

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