Public health continues to be a crisis among African Americans and efforts to educate about, find solutions for and eventually eradicate the disparities have to become top priorities for us all.
Realizing that not only every month, but daily, attention has to focus on health; this month, one of the many ills wreaking havoc in our communities has to be the most common type of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease.
Which brings me to my truth.
Medical experts say this progressive disease usually begins with minor memory loss; however the long-term effects are devastating and eventually deadly.
Alzheimer’s disease involves parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language.
Also considered a brain disorder with attention that has focused mostly on ages 65 years or older; Alzheimers is the 6th leading cause of death, and in the older population it ranks third behind heart disease and cancer.
Initially, I couldn’t comprehend what I was hearing; that Alzheimer’s Disease kills.
When my loved one was diagnosed with dementia, I immediately thought of Alzheimers and I began researching the disease.
It was then I found out that Alzheimers can possibly lead to an inability to respond to the environment. It also results in the shutting down of a sufferer’s body because the brain stops telling the body how and when to function.
More and more cases are being reported of younger sufferers. And interestingly, I hear fewer people joking about memory loss, these days because it’s not funny.
Then too, I guess it’s because more and more information is being shared about this debilitating disease.
The National Institute on Aging releases great information about Dementia and Alzheimers. Check them out at https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/11-myths-about-alz-heimers-disease.
Florida author Dixie Ann Black is a caregiver for her mom, who is living with Alzheimers. If you get a chance, you should check out her interview from Tuesday, November 2, 2021 on the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s Facebook page.
She talks about the challenges and factors that contribute to Alzheimers and what we should be doing to combat the health crisis in our communities.
We can start by eliminating SUGAR!
We can also share information, talk about our journeys and issues.
And, since November is also National Family Caregivers Month, it can be a spring-board for us all to show more concern for caregivers.
Whatever illness or situation our loved ones may be dealing with, it always helps to have a loving and com- passionate caregiver who is focused on their well-being.
And, it is equally important to remember that one day, should we live long enough, we may eventually need a caregiver!