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Group Educates Minorities On Alzheimer's

 DALLAS  -- In honor of Alzheimer's Awareness Month, The Potter's House and the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Dallas have joined forces to host a community symposium on Sunday, November 28th. The event will begin at 12:00 pm CT at The Potter's House of Dallas, located at 6777 W. Kiest Boulevard in Dallas.

The program, titled "Suffering in Silence," will include information on recognizing the early signs of Alzheimer's disease, solutions for the caregivers, screening for Alzheimer's, resources for families affected by the disease. The symposium is free and open to the public.

Dr. Stephanie Johnson, a licensed clinical and research neuropsychologist and founder of the International Dementia Research Foundation in Washington, D.C., will be the featured speaker. Other panelists will include Pastor Lawrence Robinson of The Potter's House, Greg Zarbo with the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Dallas, and Patricia Bailey, CEO of Advance Comfort, a company offering retail products specifically for dementia caregivers.

"Alzheimer's disease has been labeled the 'silent epidemic' because so many families try to cope with the illness alone," saidLawrence Robinson, senior associate pastor of The Potter's House. "Our goal is to provide the southern sector of Dallas with Alzheimer's information, inspire them with hope and solutions to assist the families that are dealing with the debilitating effects of disease and to let them know that they are not alone."

Alzheimer's disease has surpassed diabetes and is now the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  It is also more prevalent in minority communities. According to a national report released earlier this year by the Alzheimer's Association, African-Americans are about two times more likely and Hispanics are about one and one-half times more likely than their white counterparts to have Alzheimer's and other dementias.

There are no known genetic factors that explain the greater prevalence of Alzheimer's and other dementias in African-Americans and Hispanics. However, conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, which are known risk factors for Alzheimer's and other dementias, are more common among African-Americans and Hispanics than in whites.

While African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely to develop Alzheimer's and other dementias, the report reveals that they are less likely than whites to have a formal diagnosis. Consequently, many minority families deal with the effects of the disease and the care of loved ones on their own.

Patricia Bailey, a Dallas business woman, knows about the debilitating effects of Alzheimer's after caring for her mother, who eventually died of the disease. "For me, Alzheimer's was a journey of dips and turns. I had to find a way to grasp solutions for my mother and maintain a healthy state of mind," said Bailey. "Mentally, she was changed but emotionally, she was still my mom. My lonely tears of frustration would freely fall down my pillow followed by prayers for solutions. With God's help, I created Advance Comfort® healthy aging products and solutions for families and their caregivers, with the intent that no one else would have this experience without adequate support."

"Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease, we can provide better quality of life through early diagnosis, proper treatments and support services," said John Gilchrist, president and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Dallas.

One of the highlights of the symposium will be discussing the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer's disease. Event organizers hope to inspire increased awareness of the disease, particularly in the southern sector of Dallas and plan to implement programs that will provide community support to patients and families living with dementia.

About The Potter's House

Located in Dallas, The Potter's House is a 30,000-member nondenominational, multicultural church led by Bishop T. D. Jakes, twice featured on the cover of Time magazine as "America's Best Preacher" and as one of the nation's "25 most influential evangelicals." He is currently supervising his next film project, Jumping the Broom, slated for release on May 6, 2011.

About the Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer's Association is the leading U.S. voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Its 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. The Association's vision is a world without Alzheimer's disease. 


STORY TAGS: BLACK, AFRICAN AMERICAN, MINORITY, CIVIL RIGHTS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, , RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY



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