GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Center for Outreach in Alzheimer's Aging and Community Health (COAACH) at North Carolina A&T University is focusing on Alzheimer's research and outreach within the African American community.
According to their research, Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in America, and fifth amongst African Americans, who are twice as likely to suffer from age-related dementias than Caucasians.
Brenda Ray has been coming to this center for several years because her 92-year-old father was diagnosed about 10 years ago.
As his caregiver, she says she's gained a support system from COAACH, learning more about the disease and skills to help her father.
Ray says it was a difficult situation to accept because it's taboo to talk about the disease in the African American community.
"We don't talk about it, and those that you do talk about it with, sometimes they don't want to say much for fear of being shunned either by other family members or within the community at the church," Ray explains.
COAACH Interim Director, Dr. Patrick Martin says it's critical to reach out for help because it's not a disease you can go through alone, which is why this center is focused on teaching people in the community how to be caretakers and provide that support system.
North Carolina A&T's COAACH center has received a following both across the state and the country.