HealthSponsoredByThe African American churches in Madison play one of the largest roles thus far when it comes to reaching out to the black community regarding Alzheimer’s and dementia.

People who have Alzheimer’s disease — especially those raised in religious households — are uplifted by worship services and pastoral visits. They can often take part in age-old rituals and enjoy hearing favorite hymns and scripture passages.

When Mrs. Annie Mae, who has been a member of the choir for over 25 years, suddenly no longer remembers the words to Amazing Grace, the members of the congregation and the pastor are the first to notice the change in her. Some families may feel embarrassed or reluctant to ask for help from their congregation. The pastor should not wait for the family to ask; I am sure these members would like assistance.

Making sure the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia is encouraged to take part in services and social events appropriate to his or her abilities, like singing in the choir or attending a congregation dinner.

Because Alzheimer’s is under-reported in the African American community we must work toward having a healthy brain by doing the following:

1. Exercise regularly
2. Eat a healthy diet
3. Take care of your heart
4. Challenge your brain
5. Get quality sleep
6. Manage stress
7. Treat depression
8. Connect with other
9. Think positive

I am here to help so please feel free to call me at 204-9789 or email me at [email protected].