Enriching Lives As We Age

Archive for the ‘Rosener House’ Category

5th Annual Roos-Kates Awards at Rosener House

Friday, March 17th, 2017

On February 15th, 2017, the Fifth Annual Roos-Kates Awards were held at Rosener House.  Recipients of this year’s awards were Monika Mataele, Personal Care Assistant, and Rachelle Martin, Activity Leader.  Awardees are selected by their peers, and are given recognition and a monetary reward.

Years ago, Mrs. Patricia Kates established the awards to be given to two professionals who work directly with individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease.  Mrs. Kates recognized that people with Alzheimer’s disease were often misunderstood and not treated properly. She wanted to reward and encourage special efforts to those who provide their care in health organizations. Towards this end, she established an endowment with an annual “Caring Care Awards” to be presented to great caregivers.  Attendees at the Awards events included members of the Kates family, Mrs. Gene Kates and Mrs. Deborah Streiber, Mrs. Streiber’s granddaughter Siena Streiber, members of Peninsula Volunteers, the Rosener House Committee, staff members of Rosener House and other PVI programs, and other friends and guests of the honorees.  Linda Drew, a Peninsula Volunteer who helped to organize the event, said, “I have been a P.V. for 18 years and this is still one of the most meaningful events I attend.”

This year we are proud to honor our awardees:

  • Monika Mataele has worked at Rosener House as Personal Care Assistant at Rosener House for more than a year.  Monika previously worked as a caregiver for more than 12 years and took care of her own grandparents.  Her gentleness and compassion enable Monika to help all participants with their needs.   Monika learns about each person so she can help them in the best way possible.  The care that Monika provides is such an important part of making sure each participant has a good day at Rosener House.   Additionally, Monika is creative in arts and crafts and is willing to help with any activity or event.  We are pleased to present Monika with the 2017 Arthur J. Kates Award for Patient Caring Care.
  • Rachelle Martin has been an Activity Leader at Rosener House for 1 ½ years.  Before coming to work for us, Rachelle has worked as the Music Director at Lakeside Church in Folsom.  Rachelle graduated with an AA degree in History of Creative Art and Art News Media.  Rachelle has a great musical talent. She has been involved with music since she was 12 years old.  No wonder she is exceptionally good at it.  Rachelle’s natural talent fits right in at Rosener House, and she engaged participants with her music starting from day one.   Rachelle plays the guitar and leads sing-a-longs with participants.  She also leads some of the drumming circles.  Rachelle, with her cheerful, positive personality can communicate with all levels of participants and make them comfortable and happy.  We are happy to present Rachelle with the 2017 Irene and George Roos Award for Patient Caring Care.

Remarks made by both awardees expressed appreciation to the Kates family and to their colleagues for this honor.  We thank the Kates family for providing this opportunity to recognize the good work done at Rosener House every day!

Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. Receives Grants from Sequoia Hospital for Meals on Wheels and Rosener House Adult Day Services

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Menlo Park, CA  February 28, 2017  Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. (PVI) is the recipient of two Community Grants from Sequoia Hospital to support the health and wellness of San Mateo County older adults through the Meals on Wheels and Rosener House Adult Day Services programs.  Altogether more than $100,000 in grants was awarded to San Mateo County organizations on February 14.

Meals on Wheels is part of the collaborative, Supportive Services at Home, which provides a seamless continuum of care, ensuring individuals have access to medical care, nutritious meals, and home care to support their health, safety, and emotional well-being.  Other organizations in the collaborative are Samaritan House and Home Helpers Home Care.  “For newly discharged Sequoia Hospital patients, our collaborative will provide critical services to help them recuperate without stress—meals, medical counseling, transportation, and home care.  They will be able to concentrate on regaining their health,”  according to Marilyn Baker-Venturini, Director of Nutrition Services for PVI.

Rosener House Adult Day Services is part of the Memory Care and Caregiving Collaborative, which addresses the needs of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, particularly the under-served and disenfranchised, and their caregivers.  Others in the collaborative are the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorder Association, Inc., Family Caregiver Alliance, and Catholic Charities Adult Day Services.  As Barbara Kalt, Director of Rosener House stated, “We know there is a growing need for assistance and education around Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.  San Mateo County has a higher percentage of older adults than other counties in California and also a higher rate of Alzheimer’s disease.  Our collaborative supports and educates families dealing with this, and we seek to improve their health and quality of life.”

Two other collaboratives receiving grants are the Health Advocacy Outreach Program, connecting unsheltered, medically fragile homeless or marginally housed with critically needed support services, and the Pacific Islander Health Ambassador Program, which educates on the importance of fitness, diet, nutrition and accessing health care in order to reduce diabetes and pre-diabetes.

About PVI

For almost 70 years, PVI has created and provided high quality and nurturing programs for the aging on the Peninsula.  PVI provides programs, support and guidance for seniors in the community to allow them to pursue long and useful lives.  As life expectancy lengthens, communities need to embrace both opportunities and challenges to help aging adults maintain their dignity, independence, and sense of usefulness.  PVI provides innovative services including senior affordable housing, Meals on Wheels, Rosener House Adult Day Services, and Little House, the Roslyn G. Morris Activity Center.  www.penvol.org

About Sequoia Hospital

Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital is an accredited, not-for-profit community hospital providing innovative and exceptional health care for generations of Bay Area residents. Sequoia’s Heart and Vascular Institute is a nationally known pioneer in advanced cardiac care, affiliated with the Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute. Sequoia has received national recognition from Healthgrades for superior patient safety and was named as one of America’s top 100 hospitals for cardiac care. Our Total Joint Replacement program is a designated Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement, and our Birth Center is consistently ranked as a favorite among Peninsula families. We are also known for our comprehensive emergency care and leading-edge tomosynthesis 3-D mammogram technology. Our new state-of-the-art Pavilion combines the most advanced medical and surgical services with a unique healing environment, including private, spacious rooms and inviting garden areas. www.dignityhealth.org/sequoia.

Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. Receives $75,000 in Grants from The Peninsula Health Care District

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Menlo Park, CA  February 17, 2017  Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. (PVI) is pleased to announce that it has received   two grants totaling $75,000 from the Peninsula Health Care District’s (PHCD) Community Grants Program. This grant will support Meals on Wheels and Rosener House Adult Day Services two of PVI’s programs serving seniors in San Mateo County and beyond.  Meals on Wheels delivers daily hot, nutritious meals to homebound seniors, and Rosener House offers a therapeutic activity program for older adults with disabilities and support for their families.

 “PHCD is proud to provide financial support for the 2017 community grant recipients as they work tirelessly to provide services that improve the health and wellness of District residents and empower our community with their impactful, innovative programs,” said PHCD Board Chair Lawrence Cappel, PhD.

Meals on Wheels has recently expanded to serve most of San Mateo County, from Daly City through East Palo Alto, to bring personal daily contact and a hot meal to older adults who are homebound and not able to cook or shop for themselves.  Rosener House Adult Day Services serves San Mateo and Santa Clara counties with an extensive activity program including physical, occupational, speech and music therapies, exercise and art classes, brain games, current events, all planned to maintain and improve cognitive and physical functioning.  Rosener House also offers family caregivers weekly support groups and other educational opportunities.  All PVI program are designed to assist older adults age in place.

At the ninth annual Community Partners Awards Ceremony on February 1, 2017, PHCD awarded the 2017 grants to 30 local organizations. In addition, each organization had an opportunity to recognize a key volunteer who helps support their mission and makes a significant contribution to the community. PVI recognized Jeanne Pedro for volunteering in both programs, as driver for Meals on Wheels and a senior companion at Rosener House.  “We are doubly pleased to be awarded these grants to support the PVI programs and to recognize the essential work of the volunteers that support our mission as well,” said Peter Olson, PVI CEO.  “PVI and the Peninsula Health Care District are committed to improving the health and well-being of older adults in our community.  Together we can all accomplish our goals. We are grateful for the Peninsula Health Care District’s confidence in our programs.”

Every year, PHCD awards grants to local organizations that address local health priorities and help carry out the vision of the District. Community Grant recipients are chosen based on a review of local health care needs and the evolving priorities of District communities. In 2017, PVI is one of 30 local organizations to receive a grant from PHCD.  Since 1996, PHCD has invested more than $50 million to local organizations through the Community Grants Program.


About Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. (PVI):  

For almost 70 years, PVI has created and provided high quality and nurturing programs for the aging on the Peninsula.  PVI provides programs, support and guidance for seniors in the community to allow them to pursue long and useful lives.  As life expectancy lengthens, communities need to embrace both opportunities and challenges to help aging adults maintain their dignity, independence, and sense of usefulness.  PVI provides innovative services including senior affordable housing, Meals on Wheels, Rosener House Adult Day Services, and Little House, the Roslyn G. Morris Activity Center.  www.penvol.org


About the Peninsula Health Care District:

Founded in 1947, the Peninsula Health Care District serves the communities of San Bruno,

Millbrae, Burlingame, Hillsborough, San Mateo and Foster City by supporting the unique health

and wellness priorities of our vibrant Peninsula communities, and safeguarding access to health

care services, today and in the future. PHCD fulfills its commitment to the community through

oversight of District assets and infrastructure, planning for future health care needs, and

investing taxpayer dollars in local health-focused organizations and programs. To learn more

about PHCD, visit www.peninsulahealthcaredistrict.org.

Fabulous Shopping Experience Returns at Peninsula Volunteers Baubles, Bangles and Bags

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Event is Fundraiser for Menlo Park Non-Profit Dedicated to Providing Quality Senior Services

MENLO PARK, CA – Sept. 19, 2016 – - The eighth annual Baubles Bangles and Bags arrives at the Menlo Circus Club on Monday, November 7, 2016.  Peninsula Volunteers’ signature silent auction is always a shopping paradise with vintage, designer and specialty handbags and baubles, as well as themed gift baskets, mystery boxes, and four special Christmas trees.   There will be some very special handbags available for purchase, including a Judith Leiber Carousel bag donated by Mrs. Diane B. Wilsey of San Francisco, and a very unique Hermes Vibrato Kelly bag.   Other in-demand labels include Yves St. Laurent, Gucci, Prada, Ferragamo, and Stella McCartney.

The day consists of silent auction, champagne and specialty cheeses, seated luncheon and special speakers, including:

Christopher Tattanelli is a member of a four generation Italian family business, Il Fiorentino, that produces high end leather goods for five leading international brands,.  Christopher will enthrall attendees with insider information on how to identify a well made handbag and what “Made in Italy” truly means.

Ashley McCumber, Executive Director and CEO of Meals on Wheels of San Francisco and Chair of the Board of Meals on Wheels America, will be a special guest and will share information about the trends in senior hunger.

Chaired by Mrs. Gidu Shroff of Atherton, the event co-chairs include: Mrs. Gary Carville of Los Altos, Mrs. John Grillos of Sonoma, Mrs. John Jerrehian of Los Altos Hills, Mrs. Bob Sturm of Rocklin, and Mrs. Jim Woodson of Atherton.

Tickets are $175 and are available by calling Cathy Duhring at 650-272-5001.

About PVI – For almost 70 years, PVI has provided high quality and nurturing programs for the aging on the Peninsula. PVI provides programs, support and guidance for seniors in the community to allow them to pursue long and useful lives.  As life expectance lengthens, communities need to embrace both opportunities and challenges to help aging adults maintain their dignity, independence and sense of usefulness. PVI provides innovative services including affordable senior housing, Meals on Wheels, Rosener House Adult Day Services and Little House, the Roslyn G. Morris Activity Center.

www.penvol.org # # #

Peter Olson Appointed CEO for Peninsula Volunteers, Inc.

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Peninsula Volunteers Inc. (PVI), a non-profit organization serving older adults on the mid-Peninsula, is pleased to announce the appointment of Peter Olson as its new Chief Executive Officer.  Serving as PVI’s Director of Little House, The Roslyn G. Morris Activity Center, since 2010, Peter is ideally suited to provide leadership for PVI as it enters into its next chapter of expanding services and evolving to meet the needs of today’s seniors.

As CEO Peter will oversee Peninsula Volunteers‘ four major programs:
1) Meals on Wheels providing over 78,000 hot, nutritious meals yearly to home-bound older adults in San Mateo County;  2) Rosener House , Adult Day Services providing a therapeutic activity program for over 150 clients and respite care for 400+ family caregivers; 3) Little House, The Roslyn G. Morris Activity Center, providing an extensive array of services centered on health, wellness, and social interaction to over 3,500 community members annually; 4) Senior Housing in Menlo Park currently providing 82% of the affordable housing for community seniors;.

“I am excited to lead Peninsula Volunteers into its eighth decade,” said Peter Olson, CEO of PVI.  “Since opening its doors in 1947, PVI has been providing quality, innovative services and housing for the aging adults in Menlo Park and beyond, and it thrills me to carry this legacy forward.”

“We are delighted that Peter Olson has agreed to accept the role of CEO and lead Peninsula Volunteers in addressing the ever evolving needs of our growing senior population,” said Susan Sweeney, outgoing Board Chair of PVI.  “His excellent nonprofit leadership skills, his enthusiasm and ability to work effectively with a wide variety of individuals and organizations, and his vision and breadth of understanding of our senior community and the opportunities ahead for PVI make Peter the perfect leader in moving the organization forward in its expanding community role.”

In addition to his experiences at PVI, Peter has over 25 years of experience working in the not-for-profit sector, specifically older adults, individuals with special needs, and children. Peter’s professional experience includes the Director, Public Affairs and Communications for Easter Seals Bay Area and the Health and Wellness Director at the Easter Seals Timpany Center in San Jose. A graduate of San Jose State University, Peter enjoys the active outdoor lifestyle of the San Francisco Peninsula, spending time fishing, backpacking, cycling and is dedicated to spending time with his daughter.

Started by a group of forward thinking community leaders in 1947, PVI is a pioneer in providing high quality programs for Peninsula seniors, enabling them to maintain their dignity, independence, and sense of usefulness.  During the last year the PVI board and staff have been working with community leaders to align the services of Little House more closely to the needs of a changing senior population.


About Peninsula Volunteers, Inc.
Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. is a pioneer serving older adults. Through its programs – Meals on Wheels, Rosener House Adult Day Services, and the Little House, Roslyn G. Morris Activity Center, – more than $5 million in services are delivered each year to 4,500 households, including 150,000 hot meals to seniors and the homebound.  Peninsula Volunteers Properties (PVP) provides 82% of the affordable senior housing in Menlo Park.

Combatting Senior Malnutrition

Friday, September 30th, 2016

By Holly Kellner Greuling RDN, National Nutritionist for the Administration on Aging

Senior Malnutrition in our country is an epidemic hiding in plain sight. It is estimated that almost 50 percent of older Americans are malnourished. During Malnutrition Awareness week let’s commit to ending this problem.

Many inter-related factors can contribute to malnutrition. Some elderly people may live in a food desert and may not be able to buy nutrient-dense food. Some may not have the stamina to cook a meal or may not want to cook because they are feeling down. Others may not eat because they do not feel well enough to eat.

Many people are surprised to hear that malnutrition in our country is usually not due to a lack of funds to purchase food. But if you know someone who struggles to eat well for financial reasons, help is available. The USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can help people determine whether they qualify.

Malnutrition is defined as a nutrition imbalance that affects both overweight and underweight individuals and it sneaks up on people. Because malnutrition generally occurs over time, you cannot suspect malnutrition from just looking at someone. That is why malnutrition hides in plain sight.

Fortunately, there are changes that you can watch for that serve as clues:

  • Unintentional weight loss of 5 percent of body weight or more per month, even if overweight
  • Normally worn clothes looking loose or baggy
  • Eating less at meal time
  • Failing strength, wobbly walking or weakened hand grip
  • Changes in denture fit, or dentures that appear to be floating in the mouth

Malnutrition greatly affects one’s abilities to remain healthy, especially when faced with a serious health situation. In fact, approximately 30 percent of older people admitted to the hospital arrive malnourished and being malnourished while in the hospital will generally increase the length of stay.

The Aging Network created through the Older Americans Act has provided community-based nutrition programs that help sustain the nutritional status of older adults since 1972. The network has the knowledge to address senior malnutrition within the community and can partner effectively with local providers and health care organizations that serve older adults. And we know these programs work: In recent surveys, 76 percent of people who participate in meals programs at senior centers and in other group settings indicated that they eat healthier foods and that their health has improved as a result of the nutrition program. Eighty-four percent of the people who receive home-delivered meals indicate the same.

Want to help decrease senior malnutrition? Please consider the following:

  • If you are concerned about your nutritional status or that of a loved one:
  • If you or your loved one are hospitalized and have been diagnosed with malnutrition:
    • Ask how it will be handled after discharge.
  • If you represent a community-based health care organization, or your program is funded by the Older Americans Act:
  • If you are a health care provider:
    • Add an in-home nutritional assessment and (if necessary) nutritional programs to your services. This one service could help you locate your malnourished participants in enough time to act and prevent further decline.
  • If you are a medical provider or health care institution:
    • Establish protocols for malnutrition screening and offer nutritional interventions during hospitalization and after discharge.

We can make a difference in the fight against Senior Malnutrition. The actions you take now could decrease the incidence, emotional strain, and health care costs associated with this generally treatable condition.

Brought to you by the Administration for Community Living (ACL)

Sequoia Healthcare District Awards Grants to Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. Funding Will Improve Health of Community Seniors

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

June 28, 2016 – Menlo Park, CA  At a luncheon presentation for awardees on June 23, 2016, Sequoia Healthcare District renewed its commitment to the health and welfare of residents of the District by giving Caring Community Grants to 41 organizations, including two programs of Peninsula Volunteers, Inc.(PVI)—Meals on Wheels and Rosener House Adult Day Services.  

Meals on Wheels was awarded $100,000 to assist District residents who are not able to cook and shop for themselves by delivering a hot, nutritious meal every day.  Currently, PVI Meals on Wheels delivers over 1,700 meals weekly to San Mateo County residents.   The Meals on Wheels delivery team are trained to do wellness checks on participants while delivering meals, a vital component of the program.   

Rosener House Adult Day Services was awarded $75,000 to help families in the District access the day program which promotes health, independence, and dignity for older adults with limitations and chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, post-stroke, and Parkinson’s disease, preventing hospitalizations and premature institutionalization.  Family caregivers are provided much-needed respite from their constant responsibilities plus support services.  All PVI programs are designed to help residents age in place.  

The Sequoia Healthcare District is committed to returning to the community 100% of property tax revenue in health-related programs and services.  Its mission is to improve the health of District residents by enhancing access to care and promoting wellness.  In total, District grants and programs directly benefit at least 50,000 residents per year, or about one out of every 4.5 residents.  The District is mindful of the health needs of all residents focusing primarily on vulnerable populations with special attention directed to dental, mental health, the elderly and the young child. 

Contact:  Peter Olson, CEO Phone:  650-326-0665 X 5010 polson@peninsulavolunteers.org www.penvol.org


About Peninsula Volunteers, Inc.

For almost 70 years, PVI has created and provided high quality and nurturing programs for the aging on the Peninsula.  PVI provides programs, support and guidance for seniors in the community to allow them to pursue long and useful lives.  As life expectancy lengthens, communities need to embrace both opportunities and challenges to help aging adults maintain their dignity, independence, and sense of usefulness.  PVI provides innovative services including senior affordable housing, Meals on Wheels, Rosener House Adult Day Services, and Little House, the Roslyn G. Morris Activity Center. 

Rosener House Adult Day Services Hosts 4th Annual Roos-Kates Awards for Caregiving

Monday, March 14th, 2016


Representatives of the Roos-Kates family, Peninsula Volunteers staff, Board members, Rosener House Committee members and friends came together to celebrate the fourth annual Roos-Kates Awards on February 23, 2016. 

Mrs. Patricia Roos Kates established an endowment to recognize the special efforts of two special individuals engaged in direct care for people living with Alzheimer’s disease.  Since 2012, the endowment has allowed this reward to be given to Rosener House staff members.  Mrs. Kates recognized that people with Alzheimer’s disease require special care, and the health care professionals working with them were not often recognized for their dedicated and often challenging work.

The awardees are chosen by voting among the Rosener House staff who are all in a position to know who is making such a positive impact, and the award is all the more meaningful as the selection is made by one’s peers. 

This year’s award recipients are Augusto Manalang, Certified Nursing Assistant and Jette Knudsen, Activity Leader. 

·         Augusto Manalang found his calling as a Certified Nursing Assistant and has been in the field for many years, after deciding on a career to help people.  Augusto has been at Rosener House less than one year, but has had a very large impact on the program.  His patience and willingness to do whatever needs to be done is most appreciated by participants and co-workers alike.  Augusto is dependable, independent, and exceptional in his quality and quantity of work.  He quickly and quietly carries out his duties, and then looks for more ways to help everyone.  His warm and friendly personality make him very approachable.  Congratulations to August Manalang on the Arthur J. Kates Award for Patient Caring Care for 2016.

·         Jette Knudsen has worked as an Activity Leader at Rosener House for 15 years.  Jette is Danish, and she has the Danish sensibility for artistic design.  She helps to make Rosener House attractive with her special displays for holidays.  Jette’s friendliness and sincere regard for each participant is evident in her transactions with participants, and she treats everyone with kindness and respect.  Jette is especially perceptive in knowing when a participant may need a little extra attention and reassurance.  She is supportive of her co-workers and a true joy to work with.  Congratulations to Jette Knudsen on the Irene and George Roos Award for Patient Caring Care for 2016.


Minding Our Elders: Steps to take when planning for future caregiving

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Dear Carol: I’m an only surviving adult child. My parents, who are in their late 70s, have been healthy and active all of their lives. They have no trouble keeping track of their medications. They haven’t fallen and don’t have memory problems beyond what you’d expect with age. Even then, as I see the years pass I know that one day I’ll be a caregiver in that I’ll be making decisions for them. How do I prepare? — Gerald

Dear Gerald: Your parents have been blessed with good health and long lives but, as you’ve acknowledged, few people live with great health until the end of their days. It’s smart and caring of you to want to prepare for the time when they will likely need assistance.

First, it’s essential that you discuss the legal work. Even if your parents have had powers of attorney for health and finances drawn up, these documents need to be re-examined routinely. They likely have each other listed first as their appointed agent, but it’s possible that at this stage of their lives they may want to include you as the alternate if they haven’t done so already. Also, their wills should be written to address what they want done when one spouse dies as well as what they want to happen when they are both gone.

From there, my advice is to have an open, ongoing dialogue with them about their preferences as they age. If you see them often, make it a natural part of the conversation from time to time.  Ask questions about how your grandparents lived their last years. As an alternative, asking questions about their friends who may be facing the same issues as they face can be a good opener for a conversation about your parents’ choices.

Close couples often become like one in their support of each other, filling in gaps in memory and abilities. That’s good. Honor this as part of their marriage. Try to be aware of important changes, though, being careful not to be overly intrusive or overbearing. If your parents stay cognitively sound, respect that fact though you can invite them to ask for your input at any time.

If they are still in their own home and want to stay there, you could investigate home upgrades for elder safety. You also may want to look into retirement-living options with graduated care so that if one spouse needs assisted living and the other needs nursing services they can remain in the same complex. Once you have information on some viable options, you can work the information into the ongoing, flexible conversation.

It may be helpful for you to become familiar with a new government website at aging.gov. Here you’ll find your parents’ state listed and from that point you’ll see that state’s resources. You can explore links at your leisure so that when the time comes that you need helpful resources you’ll be prepared.

Educate yourself about end-of-life care, as well, including how far to take treatments and when to look at palliative care or hospice. Talk with your parents to make certain that they understand the different options.

Most of all, reassure your parents that you want to comply with what they would choose as much as reality will allow. Don’t make promises that you might not be able to keep, but assure them that you’ll do your best to follow their wishes.

Carol Bradley Bursack is the author of a support book on caregiving and runs a website supporting caregivers at www.mindingourelders.com. She can be reached at carolbursack@msn.com.

US deaths from Alzheimer’s disease rise significantly

Monday, December 14th, 2015

From: dailymail.com; by AFP PUBLISHED: 06:19 EST, 9 December 2015

Nearly 10,000 more people died of Alzheimer’s disease in the United States last year than in 2013, a significant rise of 8.1 %, according to US health data released Wednesday.

Global health authorities have warned that cases of Alzheimer’s — the most common form of dementia — would soar along with the aging population in the coming years.

But whether the latest data shows a true rise in Alzheimers death, or just a more frequent accounting of Alzheimer’s as a cause of death, remains a matter of debate.

The 8.1 % rise was the highest seen among the top 10 causes of death in the United States, the report by the National Center for Health Statistics found. 

Alzheimer’s deaths rose from

  • 84,767 in 2013 to 93,541 in 2014, a NCHS spokesman told AFP.

According to Marc Gordon, an Alzheimer’s researcher and chief of Neurology at Zucker Hillside Hospital in New York, the data comes from information recorded on death certificates.  “It is unclear to what extent more people are dying from Alzheimer’s disease, or whether Alzheimer’s disease is increasingly recognized by clinicians as a cause of death,” said Gordon, who was not involved in the NCHS study.

An uptick in death rates were also seen for unintentional injuries (up 2.8 %), suicide (up 3.2 %) and stroke (0.8 %). 

  • the leading cause of death — heart disease — fell 1.6 %,
  • while cancer deaths dropped 1.2 % and
  • deaths from influenza and pneumonia fell 5%

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is the only one of the 10 leading causes of death that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed.  One in three seniors will die of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, experts say.

“Alzheimer’s is having a rapidly growing impact on American society,” said Matthew Baumgart, senior director of public policy at the Alzheimer’s Association.  “Alzheimer’s death rates have been rising steadily over the past 15 years –- increasing 40% since 2000, when the new data are included,” he added.  Baumgart said increasing awareness of Alzheimer’s disease has meant more people report it as a cause of death.

Another factor in the increase is “large investments by the federal government in research for other diseases have led to decreases in deaths from other causes,” he told AFP.  “This means more people are living longer and to an age where they are at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s -– and dying from it.”

About 5.3 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Worldwide, some 46.8 million people currently have dementia, and that number is expected to triple by the year 2050, reaching some 131.5 million, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International.

The disease carries a heavy cost burden, costing the world $818 billion in 2015.