As the world continues to make progress on the COVID-19 pandemic, the reality remains that Alzheimer’s disease represents a global crisis with no end in sight. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, African Americans are increasingly at risk of developing the disease, and the association wants to help educate the local community on the risks and resources available in Delaware County.
On Tuesday, March 9, theh Alzheimer’s Association will host a free, virtual community forum for county residents to participate in a group discussion on the disease. The forum will run from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and will have participants asking questions and gaining answers about Alzheimer’s, discussing their experiences, learning about local resources, and more.
“We know that Black/African Americans are about twice as likely as white Americans to have Alzheimer’s or another dementia,” said Pam Myers, director of the program. “We also know that while Black/African Americans are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than whites, they are less likely to have a diagnosis. A delay in diagnosis could mean that Black/African Americans with Alzheimer’s and other dementias may miss the opportunity to make important legal, financial, and care plans while they are still capable, and make their preferences known to their families.”
Similar community forums are held around the country by the association throughout the year. The goals of the program include listening to the experiences of the community related to Alzheimer’s and other dementias, identifying needs, gaps in resources and opportunities, and elevating awareness of the programs and services of the Alzheimer’s Association.
“We have held several successful Alzheimer’s Community Forums in the past six months all over the country,” said Myers. “While all the forums had different feedback based on their unique community, we heard overarching community needs like more education and awareness about the disease. We really want to hear what our local Black/African American community thinks about diagnosis, education and resources.
“If you are part of the Black/African American community in Delaware County and have an interest in or experience with Alzheimer’s or other dementias as it impacts your community, we want to hear from you. Business and community leaders, affected individuals, family members and caregivers, faith leaders, education leaders, hospitals, volunteer organizations, among many others, we invite you to attend.”
Anyone who wishes to attend and participate in the forum can register by calling 800-272-3900. Once registered, an email will be sent with information regarding the login procedure. For more information on the association, visit www.alz.org/centralohio.