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Congresswoman Maxine Waters Helps to Educate Community about Alzheimer’s

April 8, 2010
Press Release

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) yesterday helped launch an educational and outreach campaign on Alzheimer's disease made possible by $190,000 in federal funding that she secured for the Alzheimer's Association.  The federal funds will be used to provide caregiver support and improve awareness about Alzheimer's disease and related disorders in African American and Latino communities in Los Angeles. 

"I am pleased that I was able to secure funding for the Alzheimer's Association's efforts to expand awareness of Alzheimer's disease in our community.  Public education about Alzheimer's disease is especially important among African Americans and Latinos, who are disproportionately impacted by Alzheimer's, and I will continue to support efforts to educate those at risk for the disease," said Congresswoman Waters. 

Congresswoman Waters joined the California Southland Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association today at L.A. Southwest College to promote a campaign that will provide materials, programs and resources to residents of South Central Los Angeles to support people living with Alzheimer's and related disorders, as well as their family caregivers.  The goals are to improve the early detection of Alzheimer's and also improve access to support services.

Alzheimer's disease is increasing at epidemic levels as America's population ages, and minorities are especially at risk. African Americans are twice as likely and Hispanics are about 1.5 times as likely to develop Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia according to a report released last month by the Alzheimer's Association. 

The organization therefore is taking steps to educate communities with large minority populations like South Central Los Angeles about Alzheimer's and its warning signs.  In addition, information about how baby boomers can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's is being distributed. 

"Healthy Body, Healthy Brain," a program of the Alzheimer's Association with support from local community agencies, will increase awareness of brain health and techniques for Alzheimer's risk reduction and health management.  This program could be especially beneficial for African-Americans, who are disproportionately impacted by diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, both of which are significant risk factors for Alzheimer's.  Risk reduction techniques that reduce the risk and improve the management of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases could reduce the rates of Alzheimer's among African Americans and many others in the community.

More than 150,000 people in Los Angeles County are now living with Alzheimer's disease or a related disorder.  The number of Alzheimer's cases in California is expected to double in the next 20 years, and among African-Americans in the state the number is projected to triple. 

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