US government’s BOLD initiative seeks to close the African-American Alzheimer’s gap

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Image credit: African-American Alzheimer’s Caregiver Training and Support

Alzheimer’s is a public health crisis for which Congress has thankfully put aside its differences long enough to pass the Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s (BOLD) Act. Now the question is whether the money and resources directed toward African-Americans, a group disproportionately affected by Alzheimer’s, is bold enough.

Previous federal funding to support Alzheimer’s prevention efforts went to influential organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association and the CDC, whose awareness efforts have fallen flat when it comes to reaching African-Americans. In fact, African-Americans still have the lowest level of basic knowledge about Alzheimer’s, have few trusted sources of information for it, and have the highest risk of the disease in the United States.

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By focusing on the community as the center of efforts to address disparities — efforts that will complement those of the larger public and private sector — organic community groups can help design the infrastructures that are not only relevant to communities but are also sustainable for them.

Acknowledging the importance of diversity and inclusion for leveling up the health outcomes of disadvantaged communities will move the country forward in its fight against Alzheimer’s. That, indeed, would be a bold act.

Read full, original post: HHS must act boldly to help African-Americans fight Alzheimer’s disease

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