Oregon Unveils Alzheimer Plan

Jul 30, 2012

The state unveiled its new plan to coordinate and improve care for people with Alzheimer's Monday.

Between 2000 and 2010, the number of Oregonians with Alzheimer's, or a related dementia, has increased by one-third. As people live longer, they're more likely to see the symptoms.  Oregon's plan aims to provide better treatment, optimize the quality of care and improve access to care -- especially in rural areas.

Dee Whitney's husband, Bill, was diagnosed five months ago. They live in Southwest Portland. He has a gerontologist, and goes for speech therapy, physical therapy and art therapy. Dee says access to such resources is key to treating the disease.

Dee Whitney: "In another location, we would not have had access. So the state plan, the hope of the state plan, is to make these resources available, no matter where you live."

The plan does not call for increased state spending. The next step will be to hold a series of town hall meetings across the state.

Copyright 2012 Oregon Public Broadcasting