Alzheimer’s Orange County’s History

In 1982, a small group of dedicated women who were caregivers for loved ones with Alzheimer’s Disease founded the nonprofit that would become Alzheimer’s Orange County.

Back then, the prospects of any real treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease were just a dream as myths, stigmas, and stereotypes surrounded the disease. Fortunately, that didn’t dissuade the founders who wanted to make a difference. They organized support groups, shared educational information, and made referrals—all without a single paid staff member. These and other life-changing programs and services, like Memories in the Making® (created by Sally Jenny in 1982), have grown since their inception and continue to make an impact today.

In 1984 the group joined the national Alzheimer’s Association where it continued to grow for several years. In 2015, the nonprofit left the national Alzheimer’s Association organization to create independent Alzheimer’s Orange County (AlzOC) in order to maintain local control of budgets and programs, and assure all funds raised in Orange County would be put to work here.

Over the years, AlzOC has grown considerably in size and scope, adding many services and resources, as others built upon their strong foundation. While never losing site of the core values of its founders, trust was built locally, and the nonprofit’s reputation rose nationally.

Today, AlzOC is a multifaceted independent nonprofit organization that leads the way with brain health and dementia education, care consultations, community connections, residential memory care resources, adult day health services, and much more.

Key to AlzOC’s growth was the development of a strategic plan for sustainability that provides additional sources of revenue to supplement donations in order to fund the growth of free and low-cost programs for Orange County residents. Among these was adding Healthy Aging Center: Acacia,* Healthy Aging Center: Laguna Woods**, and The Cottages residential memory care to AlzOC’s continuum of care.

We are grateful to our many generous donors, Board members, healthcare professionals, researchers, volunteers, and staff who have helped sustain, guide, and implement our innovative programs for all touched by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia despite challenges such as COVID-19.

It has been our task to offer the tools, training, and technology to connect caregivers with the help they need as we changed the lives of over 34,000 people in Orange County in 2021, alone.

As AlzOC looks to the future, we reaffirm our pledge to providing an uncompromising level of care, collaboration, and compassion.

*Formerly known as Acacia Adult Day Services

**Formerly known as South County Adult Day Services

1982

Humble Beginnings

A group of local caregivers found the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association of Orange County Inc.

1984

Organizational Change

Alzheimer’s Orange County joins the national Alzheimer’s Association.

2015

A Return to Independence

Alzheimer’s Orange County breaks away from the national Alzheimer’s Association and becomes a fully independent nonprofit once again.

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2016

New Partnerships

AlzOC joins forces with South County Adult Day Services (now known as Healthy Aging Center: Laguna Woods)

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2017

Two Nonprofits, One Shared Vision

AlzOC and Acacia Adult Day Services merge (now known as Healthy Aging Center: Acacia)

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2020

Alzheimer’s Orange County Expands its Continuum of Care

AlzOC announces the donation of Irvine Cottages residential memory care business from Dr. Jacqueline DuPont.

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