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Alzheimer's Association presents caregiver conference focusing on Black community


Wed, Mar 22nd 2023 07:55 pm

In partnership with the Buffalo Center for Health Equity, the Western New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will present “It’s A Family Affair: 3rd Annual Black/African American Caregiver Conference” on Saturday, April 1, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Frank E. Merriweather Library, 1324 Jefferson Ave., Buffalo. People can also participate via Zoom.

A press release stated, “The conference will offer the opportunity for members of the Black community to learn more about Alzheimer’s and dementia, along with the resources available to assist them as caregivers.”

Andrea Koch, director of education and training for the WNY Chapter, said, "We know that, particularly in communities of color, much of the care for people living with dementia is provided by family members. For these caregivers, knowledge is power. We want to ensure that they have the information, tools and support they need to provide the best care for their loved ones."

National guest speakers will address the unique challenges faced by communities of color when caring for family members with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Sadé Dozan, MPA, chief of operations and development for Caring Across Generations, will speak on the need to support family caregivers and help elders age with dignity. Doris Saintil Phildor, MPH, New York State Health Systems Director for the Alzheimer's Association, will talk about building trust with health providers and improving health outcomes in communities of color.

Lauren Ashburn, the Alzheimer Association’s associate director of advocacy for New York state, will speak about the power caregivers have to create policy changes through sharing their stories, and a volunteer advocate will also speak on the power of advocacy.

A free caregiver resource fair will be offered featuring representatives from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, the Erie County Department of Senior Services, UBMD Neurology, Congressman Brian Higgins’ “Congress on Your Corner” team, the Center for Elder Law & Justice, and Mellowing Mind (a mindfulness app developed by the University at Buffalo). Participants can learn more and see if they are eligible for a free robotic companion pet, which can assist in providing comfort to people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Registration is required and can be done online at bit.ly/AlzFamConf23 or by calling 800-272-3900.

The conference is sponsored by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York and supported in part by grants from the New York State Department of Health.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, call 800-272-3900 or visit alz.org.

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