Report sheds light on health and well-being of Nevada seniors

Reported by: Alyx Sacks
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Updated: 4/22/2013 7:24 am

RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV)-- The growth rate of Nevada's senior population continues to increase and so do some concerns about the health and well-being of older adults in the Silver State.

Elders Count Nevada is the only one of its kind in the state and its been passed out to policy makers as a sort of heads up, a tool, because the numbers are out there and this is what lies ahead for the future of Nevada.

"There's challenges that we have coming ahead," Director of Washoe County Senior Services Grady Tarbutton says.

Elders Count Nevada is a 206 page report compiled by the Sanford Center for Aging, Division of Health Sciences, at the University of Nevada, Reno, in partnership with the Nevada State Health Division and teh Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division, Department of Health and Human Services.

The report compiles all platforms of information to give a detailed look at the current health and well-being of Nevada's seniors.

"The resources that we have both at the state level and the county level are not adequate to meet this demand," Tarbutton says.

According to Elders Count Nevada, in 2009, "more than one in four Nevada nursing homes were found to have deficiencies severe enough to lead to actual harm or place residents in jeopardy." This is up from previous reports.

The report also says Nevada saw a big rise in Alzheimer's disease. From 2000 to 2010, the incidence of Alzheimer's in Nevadans 65-years or older went up 38%. Compare that to the nationwide average of just 12%.

"It means we have to make some policy decisions to help families that deal with this," Tarbutton says

The report also reveals families are carrying an increasing care load. Between 2006 and 2009 the number of Nevada's unpaid or family caregivers went up by 40%.

"There's complex issues that caregivers face and a forty percent increase since 2000, that's a big change for this community," Tarbutton says.

To the experts Tarbutton this is no new news, but it's proof the time to plan and prepare is now.

"We are committed to working together to better serve the community and to make sure the policy makers are informed and that's why elders count is so important," Tarbutton says.

To take a look at the full report click here.

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