African Americans and Alzheimer's
Dr. Monica Parker and the Links, Incorporated – Atlanta Chapter
Current reports state that Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death for all Americans, and the fourth leading cause of death for older African Americans. Additionally, it notes that African American elders are two to three times more likely to have Alzheimer’s disease compared with whites. With evidence of this magnitude, we realize an investment to stop, prevent or cure Alzheimer’s must be accelerated.
There is a clear and urgent need to promote informed decisions about health dementia-related preventive behavior in the African American community. The Emory ADRC will strengthen its capacity via educational initiatives and screening and detection efforts by developing culturally sensitive educational materials that are consistent with several objectives of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) signed into law by President Obama.
Over the years we have used established and innovative strategies to provide information and education regarding early detection and diagnosis issues related to caregiving, and developments in research to reduce racial disparities by:
- disseminating information to the community about risk factors for cognitive impairment that include how to identify early warning signs of memory loss
- offering cognitive screening opportunities to facilitate the diagnosis of disorders that impair thinking
- providing continuing education hours for nurses, social workers and allied health care professionals.
Through internal and external support the Emory ADRC has gained traction and momentum to effect changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors so that individuals become proactive and informed consumers regarding their cognitive health.