African Americans make up the largest minority group in Kentucky at 7% of the population. In Lexington, African Americans are 13.5% of the local population. However, over the years of our funding as an Alzheimer’s Disease Center, few African Americans sought help through our clinics. Past mistrust and mistreatment had created local and national barriers that researchers at Sanders-Brown were dedicated to understanding and overcoming. Through focus groups and advisory councils, we discussed and identified local barriers and quickly learned the importance of educational outreach and the necessity to include church representation as a gateway to the community. In 2003, funding was obtained from the Administration on Aging to begin to identify African Americans with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and involve them with our center programs. A partnership was created among the Alzheimer’s Association, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and our Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Using the resources of our partnership, we began educational programs focused on AD and the importance of research. Additionally, a clinic was established and located in a predominately African-American community. The clinic provides neuropsychological testing, clinical appointments with a neurologist specializing in dementia care, educational materials, and free memory screenings.
The mission of the AADOP is to provide compassion, guidance, and support to families within the African-American community who are affected by memory loss and dementia. The program has three components:
To expand our partnership and further diversify input, we have established a group of individuals who each bring a unique perspective to our group and our mission. In addition to our initial partners, we invited clergy, community leaders, and lay persons who are dedicated to serving the local African-American community. Our 'Friends' serve as representatives of our community and have assisted in expanding our mission into new creative outlets. Successful products have been developed as a part of this partnership including, The Book of Alzheimer’s for African-American Churches and an educational film titled Granny Pearl (see products). We also have offered several large conferences since the inception of AADOP related to African Americans and Alzheimer’s disease and the importance of research. If you live locally and are interested in becoming a 'Friend', please contact us!
The Book of Alzheimer’s for African-American Churches is written for church leaders interested in helping families cope with dementia. This manual is designed to share what we learned during four years of a national grant to build awareness and support related to Alzheimer’s disease in the Lexington/Bluegrass area of Kentucky. Download (PDF format)The Book of Alzheimer's for African-American Churches (link to The Book of Alzheimer's for African-American Churches (pdf file)
Granny Pearl is a dramatic production showing how aging and Alzheimer’s disease can affect African-American families. The story describes the signs of the disease as observed by teenage grandchildren and highlights their struggle to cope with changes in their grandmother’s behavior. The importance of seeking medical and spiritual help and maintaining a supportive, loving home environment are stressed as the family talks and prays together to cope with the effect of this disease on their everyday life. The film is appropriate for church and community youth groups.
To order either of these resources, please contact:
800 S. Limestone
Lexington, KY 40536
What services are offered as a part of AADOP?
Memory screenings are available for anyone interested in having their memory evaluated through a brief screening and/or in learning more about memory issues. Results from the screening allow the Sanders-Brown staff to suggest appropriate follow-up. Free memory screenings take place the third Tuesday of every month at the Minority Gateway Clinic at Polk-Dalton located at 217 Elm Tree Lane, Lexington, KY 40507. For more information, call Tyler Schnieders at 859-323-6316.
We provide diagnostic work-ups for anyone who is experiencing changes in memory and thinking that they are concerned about. Our team includes neurologists, social workers, neuropsychologists and other staff to provide support to families. Annual physical and neuropsychological exams and family support services are provided at no charge to the participants.
A diagnostic work-up will include:
We have many opportunities for both normal elderly persons and those suffering from disease such as Alzheimer’s. Click here to learn more about our Minority Study Opportunities or contact Deborah Danner at (859) 257-1412 x230.
We provide presentations on various topics including Healthy Brain Aging and the Ten Warning Signs of Memory Loss. Presentations can be adjusted for specific audiences and group size. Places we have presented include church meetings and programs, health fairs, neighborhood meetings, conferences and men and women’s bible studies.
We have two clinic locations:
Minority Gateway Clinic is located at Polk-Dalton, 217 Elm Tree Lane, Lexington KY.
Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Clinic is 1030 South Broadway, Lexington KY.
For clinic information:
Phone: (859) 323-5550
Physician: Dr. Charles Smith
Staff: Jeffrey Howe, Robin Hamon, Caitlin McGuire, Tyler Schnieders