African Americans Twice as Likely to Develop Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias

5.3 Million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease; it is the 6th leading cause of death in America (with over half a million people living with Alzheimer’s in our state of Florida). African Americans are twice as likely as white Americans to develop the disease, but less likely to seek a diagnosis.(Alzheimer’s Association 2015 Facts and Figures Report, 18)

  • Delays in diagnosis mean that many people living with this disease are not accessing free support services and care planning, financial planning resources, or establishing support networks in the early stages that could reduce serious stressors on long-term caregiving and potentially avoid bankrupting a family (Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in America).
  • Though people in any community often dismiss the Alzheimer’s warning signs as typical changes of aging, awareness of these signs can increase chances of early detection and diagnosis.

Alzheimer’s Association 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems.
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.
  4. Confusion with time or place.
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing.
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
  8. Decreased or poor judgment.
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities.
  10. Changes in mood and personality.

alz-3For more information on Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Association and its available resources, call the Alzheimer’s Association toll-free, 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900 or visit alz.org

As the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research, the Alzheimer’s Association is committed to raising awareness of this fatal brain disease and its warning signs in diverse populations during Black History Month and throughout the year.

You can find the Alzheimer’s Association 2015 Facts and Figures report here: http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_facts_and_figures.asp?type=alzchptfooter

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