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Science shows that people of color are nearly twice as likely as their Caucasian counterparts to develop some form of dementia. And yet African Americans are consistently under-represented in Alzheimer’s studies. So geriatrics physician Dr. Monica Parker—whose mother and grandmother both suffered from dementia—doesn’t mince words when she’s doing community outreach for Emory’s centers on Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Brain Health.
When Pam Van Ahn greets you at the front door of Amy’s Place, she has a tail-wagging companion, Earl. The friendly black dachshund was previously owned by Van Ahn’s late mother, Carol, who was diagnosed with dementia and passed away in 2012. Van Ahn, a former nurse who moved to Roswell in 2011 to take care of her mother, says that her family created Amy’s Place—a unique gathering space known as a “memory care cafe” for people with dementia and their families—after learning firsthand what caregivers go through.
The nonprofit offers four- to eight-week classes on “getting started” with devices. They are all taught at places where older adults are located—senior living communities, rec centers, country clubs, and churches—throughout metro Atlanta. So far Bluehair has helped nearly 3,000 seniors learn to use smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
Emory’s EQUiPPED (Enhancing Quality of Provider Practices for Older Adults in the Emergency Department) program is designed to improve prescription safety in older adults by educating emergency professionals about high-risk drugs and drug interactions among that age group.
For outdoorsy seniors who don’t feel comfortable making the long drive to a state park alone—or who just want company on the trail—the Hearthstone Hikers are a group of 50- to 90-year-olds who explore the great outdoors twice a month, departing from Central Park in Cumming.
The Atlanta Regional Commission’s Nursing Home Transitions Program helps ease the transition by coordinating rides, arranging for help with bathing or grocery shopping, or even aiding in the search for new housing if necessary.