Kathryn Cherkas

Kathryn Cherkas

Alzheimer’s is listed as the fourth top cause of death in Santa Barbara County, which is referenced in the recent article “Northern Santa Barbara County White men statistically most likely to die.”

Of the top 10 causes, it is important to note that Alzheimer’s is the only one without a significant prevention, intervention or any form of a cure. We know with 100% certainty that Alzheimer’s is fatal, but we are still struggling to measure just how fatal it is⁠ — and why it actually might be underreported as a cause of death.

I recently came across the death certificate of a loved one who passed away 14 years ago. I skimmed through it, reflecting on the time spent living with my beloved relative for the final 13 years of his life, when I came to the cause of death listed.

Kathryn Cherkas is Director of Programs for the Alzheimer’s Association California Central Coast Chapter.

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