HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The Alzheimer’s death rate in Hays County is higher than the national average, according to a report by Christus Santa Rosa Hospital in San Marcos.

In the hospital’s 2023-2025 Community Health Assessment Needs, it reported Hays County’s mortality rate for Alzheimer’s disease at 38.8% and the national average at 30.8%.

It’s a disease that’s personally impacted Lindsey Randow, who’s mother died from Alzheimer’s on December 27, 2022.

“She had some sweet moments,” Randow said.

Their journey with the disease started 11 years ago.

“We knew, in theory what the road would look like. But I don’t think anyone’s ever really prepared,” she said.

Her mom ended up staying at Brookdale Senior Living in San Marcos, which offers memory care.

That’s where Randow met Megan Spiller, a sales manager at Brookdale Senior Living.

“Memory Care is a secured part of our community. It allows our residents to still live as independently as possible, but maybe they need a little bit more help throughout the day,” Spiller said. “If we do have anyone that’s exit seeking, we’re able to keep them safe in a small environment, keep eyes on them pretty much 24/7 and give them the love and the care that they need.”

Recently, Brookdale Senior Living has seen more people interested in its memory care services.

“We are seeing a higher demand of those who have kept their loved ones at home and cared for them, but are now getting to the point where they just need more help,” Spiller said.

But with higher demand, comes lower availability.

“We are full. Usually when a vacancy does come up, it’s pretty much gone almost immediately,” Spiller said.

While there are so many unanswered questions about the disease, Randow said her mother will help with that research.

“Her brain was donated, and will be studied,” Randow said. “Her gift just keeps on giving so more people keep on learning.”

Spiller said Brookdale has an Alzheimer’s support group open to anyone in the county. That group meets the first Wednesday of every month.