Bradfield Community Center in Lima, Ohio will be the location of an Alzheimer’s Association Northwest Ohio Chapter Community Forum that is designed to gather critical information about the barriers confronting the local African American community seeking an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, treatment and care.
The Alzheimer’s Association Northwest Ohio Chapter invites Lima and surrounding area residents to take part in the Community Forum, which will be held from 2-3:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 24. The center is located at 550 South Collett Street in Lima. The event is free, but pre-registration is required by visiting https://bit.ly/LIMACommunityforum or calling the Association 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.
As the American population ages and becomes increasingly more diverse, the Alzheimer’s Association is committed to identifying and addressing barriers that may prohibit members of these diverse communities, particularly those in the African American community, from receiving important Alzheimer’s diagnosis, treatment and resources.
Pam Myers, program director for the Alzheimer’s Association Northwest Ohio Chapter, said, “We know that African Americans are about twice as likely as white Americans to have Alzheimer’s or another dementia. We also know that while African Americans are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than white Americans, they are less likely to receive a diagnosis. A delay in diagnosis could mean that 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.”
The Alzheimer’s Association reported in its 2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures that 36 percent of African Americans believe discrimination would be a barrier to receiving Alzheimer’s care, and 50 percent reported
they have experienced health care discrimination.
Evelyn Smith, Alzheimer’s Association community forum committee member said, “I’ve watched loved ones suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and I want to be sure my community is educated about this disease and knows that there is help available.”
The Alzheimer’s Association community forum is a town hall-style meeting that gathers communities in a comfortable neutral setting so that Alzheimer’s staff can learn about real-life experiences of people impacted by the disease.
“Community forums, like the one to be held here in Lima, help bring our community together.” Kesha Drake, committee member added. “It is important for people to get involved as it provides a place for them to have a voice in what is needed in local Alzheimer’s care and services.”
Myers said anyone with an interest in or experience with Alzheimer’s or other dementias is invited to attend, including business and community leaders; affected individuals; family members and caregivers; faith leaders; hospitals; and volunteer organizations. A free lunch will be served. Those who wish to preregister should call the Alzheimer’s Association through its 24/7 helpline at 800.272.3900.
Following all current state and local health and venue site guidelines regarding masks, social distancing and meeting size, the Alzheimer’s Association Northwest Ohio Chapter will begin offering programs and support groups both in-person and virtually. While masks are optional (unless required by the venue site), unvaccinated and compromised participants should consider wearing masks when attending programs and other meetings. The Bradfield Community Center will have masks available.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive and fatal brain disease that kills nerve cells and tissues in the brain, affecting an individual’s ability to remember, think and plan. During the pandemic, the Alzheimer’s Association has continued to offer education programs, personalized care consultations and support groups to families impacted by the disease. It is estimated that Alzheimer’s and dementia deaths have increased 16 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alzheimer’s disease is currently ranked in the top 10 causes of death in the United States. According to the National Institute on Aging, recent estimates indicate Alzheimer’s disease may rank third, just behind heart disease and cancer, as a cause of death for older people.
Individuals can reach the Alzheimer’s Association Northwest Ohio Chapter at 419.537.1999 to schedule a care consultation and be connected with local resources that can help. A variety of free educational programs and support groups are offered free to the community both in-person and virtually. Current offerings can be found at https://www.alz.org/nwohio/helping_you.
*Alzheimer’s Association® *The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.