Music therapist Keeley St. Clair leads Robert Russell and other members of the group through a rehearsal of "The Circle Game," which they modified with their own verses. The Lake Oswego Adult Community Center offers respite classes twice a week.

Senior centers lag behind Alzheimer’s rising tide in Oregon

The story of Art and Sue Martin matters because increasingly Oregonians will have to pay to care for an aging population where Alzheimer’s and dementia are on a sharp uptick. Right now in Oregon, nearly 60,000 adults suffer from Alzheimer’s. By 2025, that number is set to jump to 84,000 — almost two percent of the population. Yet senior centers, an important provider of services to older adults and a local link to state and federal safety net programs, are frequently unprepared to serve people with Alzheimer’s and the family members who care for them.

The Dementia Rescue Missions

Wandering behavior has become increasingly familiar, yet Washington is not prepared to deal with this emerging public health threat. Few police departments have policies or training to educate officers on Alzheimer’s or dementia.