Photo provided by Tyra Oldham

By Tyra Oldham

The Black community has many factors that impact our sustainability.  The Black community experience’s, education, economics, criminal justice, and health inequities that have long-term and generational impacts. Today, there is a silent killer that is impacting our community. That killer is targeting memories, and the management of lives that is requiring families to support financially, physically, and emotionally.  This silent killer is Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia is a horrible debilitating disease that each day your loved one losses piece of themselves and memories that prevent them from self-care, managing their households and health.

The Alzheimer’s Association in reported in the research, “African-Americans and Alzheimer’s Disease- The Silent Epidemic” the impact of this disease on families and generations.

“•Alzheimer’s disease is more prevalent among African-Americans than among whites — with estimates ranging from 14% to almost 100% higher; 

• There is a greater familial risk of Alzheimer’s in African-Americans; and 

• Genetic and environmental factors may work differently to cause Alzheimer’s disease in African-Americans.”

In the Black community this disease is further exacerbated by the lateness in the diagnosis preventing early-stage solutions and medications to fend off the disease progression.  Further, the lack of healthcare providers and services in our communities is another extenuating circumstance in the black community. 

This disease is a silent killer but impacts the entire family and cannot be managed alone. Seek assistance and build a community inclusive of a care plan and team to support the transformative changes that these diseases produce. 

We need to promote more research and services for our community. Additionally, more service solutions need to be defined and accessible for aging Dementia and Alzheimer’s. The next step is lobbying insurance companies to support and deliver longer services in care responsive claims for patients with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

Please learn more about these diseases and if your family member is experiencing memory challenges, long-or-short-term gaps in memory or body-mind challenges please reach out to primary care doctor and the Alzheimer’s Association for a consultation. I do not know if this disease can be conquered in my lifetime, but we can find ways to mitigate the toll and damage that it has on our family members.

For more information on care support and caregiving advice, write or email the “Care Corner.” Want to discuss care? Care Corner is that place to talk care, address questions for current and potential caregivers, and provide suggestions on agencies, services, and tips to assist in a care journey. (Read more of the article from the Herald Newspaper– subscribe now

The Care Corner is for everyone, no matter their age or process in care. For more information on caregiving, send your questions to Care Corner at the Cincinnati Herald or via email at care@carecorner.info.

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