N.C. A&T’s COAACH shines a light on National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

By Donna Bradby / 11/24/2020

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Nov. 24, 2020) – When President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983, fewer than two million Americans were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at the time. Today, that number has soared to nearly six million people. This month aims to increase the general public’s understanding of the disease, the impact it has on the person directly affected and their caretakers, and highlight potential care options and best practices.

The Center for Outreach in Alzheimer’s, Aging and Community Health (COAACH) at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is dedicated to providing support to African Americans and other vulnerable communities living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias, along with educating them, their families and caregivers.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and there is no cure. African Americans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with this disease than any other race and the need for advocacy, education and engagement is critical.

“The center is equipped with programs and resources specifically created to serve families who are dealing with Alzheimer’s on a daily basis and need ongoing support,” said Grace Byfield, Ph.D., COAACH interim director.

COAACH programs include a Care Partner Support Group designed to bring people together with common experiences or concerns, and to provide each other with encouragement, comfort and advice. The center conducts research around Alzheimer’s regarding associated health disparities, factors that influence caregiver burden, and the inclusion of technology and machine learning to empower caregivers and engage communities. Students at all levels are involved in COAACH activities through internships that offer opportunities for research and community engagement throughout the year.

Visit the recently-launched COAACH website to learn more about joining the fight to stop Alzheimer’s disease and learn more about COAACH, its core programs, resources, research and news. Visitors will find new informational videos, a downloadable healthy cookbook, ways to access a support group and other important information.

Please call 336-285-2165 to speak to a COAACH team member.

Media Contact Information: uncomm@ncat.edu

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