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PreSERVE Coalition is a group of individuals from healthcare, service organizations and the community collaborating on initiatives that support the health and well being of older adult African Americans in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. We focus particularly on brain health and the many aspects of preserving memory. Our Aging and Memory Conference, scheduled for June 2012, is our signature educational event designed to initiate healthy change for individuals and community.
Health problems affecting memory among African Americans
Today, an estimated 5.3 million persons in the U.S. are afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, with care costs reaching $172 billion per year. As our population ages, the number of people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease will dramatically increase. The estimated prevalence for Alzheimer’s disease is 13% for those over age 70 and increases to as much as 30% for those over age 85. Some studies suggest that it is even more prevalent among African Americans.
A number of chronic diseases that are more prevalent among African Americans than whites also affect cognitive function:
- Diabetes, which has a strong association with cognitive impairment, affects 14.7% of non-Hispanic blacks compared with 9.8% of non-Hispanic whites.
- African Americans have higher rates of hypertension, a key risk factor for vascular dementia.
- Depression is also associated with memory problems in the elderly.
It is well known that exercise and a healthful diet are effective in preventing diabetes. It is less well known that these same strategies can be effective in preventing cognitive impairment and potentially, Alzheimer’s disease.
These factors: diabetes, vascular conditions and depression, conspire to impair cognitive functioning in the older adult and these conditions are more prevalent among African Americans than whites.
Addressing a multi-disease epidemic
The goal of our community-based planning committee is to provide education and health information about the risks of dementia by addressing aging and memory loss within a broader framework of chronic diseases that are prevalent among African Americans (e.g. diabetes and hypertension).
Our signature educational event designed to initiate healthy change for individuals and community is our Aging and Memory in the African American Community Conference. Our conference addresses the implications and actions necessary to confront this multi-disease epidemic within our African American community.
Our target audiences are older African Americans and their family members as well as health and social service professionals who work with African American elders.
Our initiatives offer strategies for addressing these conditions, and reducing the risks of developing memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. We are also committed to ensuring that conference presenters and vendors are predominantly African American.
A healthy, soul-food lunch is included in the free conference. Attendance at previous conferences exceeded 150, of whom approximately 85% were African Americans.
Please join us and share your ideas and concerns for a healthy African American community!
September 15, 2012
10:30 a.m. to Noon
4222 NE 13th Ave.
Portland, OR 97211
Linda Boise, PhD, MPH,
The Layton Aging & Alzheimer's Disease Center, OHSU,
Co-Chair/Co-Founder of PreSERVE
Co-Chair/Co-Founder of PreSERVE
Urban League of Portland, volunteer
M. Yvonne Williams
The Portland Chapter of the Links, Inc.
Raina Croff, PhD
Public Health & Preventive Medicine, OHSU
Public Policy Director, Alzheimer's Association Oregon Chapter
Community Services Manager, Multnomah County Aging & Disability Services
Multnomah County Family Caregiver Support Program
Trudy Rice, RN (retired) Health Advocate, for the community at-large
Elizabeth Takahashi Multnomah County Health Department
Derenda Schubert, PhD
Executive Director, Bridge Meadows
Renee Moseley, LCSW Program Director, Bridge Meadows