Sacramento locals are proud of the brand new Golden 1 Center, home of the NBA Kings. For basketball games, seating capacity is 17,500. The team would have to sell out 35 games in a row to represent the number of Californians today living with Alzheimer’s disease. It would take 86 consecutive games to seat every family caregiver supporting a loved one with dementia in our state.
Unlike other threats to the golden state, such as climate change, affordable housing and transportation, Alzheimer’s poses an equal but less visible threat – one that is too often overlooked because of stigma, the #1 problem identified in California’s State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease. Stigma obstructs access to care, with fewer than 50 percent of people with Alzheimer’s or their caregivers reporting being told of their diagnosis as compared to more than 90 percent of people with the four most common types of cancer. In this era of whole-person care, a key ingredient – accurate Alzheimer’s diagnosis – is missing in the care plan more than half the time.