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African-American Outreach
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The Greater Illinois Chapter is here to provide support, education and information for all individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease. We celebrate 2013 by bringing several new programs and services to African-American individuals and families living in our service area.

JOIN us in one of our educational programs about Alzheimer’s disease. Visit our calendar to learn about the different programs currently available.

LEARN about the Alzheimer’s Association’s resources. For more information call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.

Did you know…

• African-Americans age 65 and older are roughly two times more likely than Caucasians to develop Alzheimer’s disease?

• High blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes are thought to increase one’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease and stroke-related dementias?

• African-Americans are 40% less likely to be properly diagnosed and treated for Alzheimer’s disease?

• African-Americans are more likely than other racial/ethnic groups to delay seeking diagnosis and treatment by two and a half years or more?

The Alzheimer’s Association® Greater Illinois Chapter recognizes that, often times, there are distinct differences in how Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias impact and are managed by the African-American community. By offering our programs and services in ways that are sensitive to and respectful of these differences, we hope to provide better care and support to all those affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Programs and Services in your Area

The Greater Illinois Chapter offers a wide variety of education programs in the African-American community that are designed for audiences, including: people with dementia, their family members, caregivers and the general public. Some of the more frequently requested programs include:

Alzheimer’s Disease in the African-American Community
This program explores some of the reasons behind the increased incidence of Alzheimer's in the African-American community while offering information about normal changes in memory as we age. The warning signs of Alzheimer’s as well as the steps to take for proper diagnosis and treatment are also discussed.

Know the 10 Signs:  Early Detection Matters
This program focuses on the 10 warning signs of serious memory loss. It includes a basic overview of Alzheimer's disease and covers risk factors, diagnosis, and the benefits of early detection. Through the use of video footage, you will meet people living with memory loss as they address the fears and myths associated with dementia, and hear from the family members who are on the journey with them.

Learning to Connect:  Relating to the Person with Alzheimer's
As Alzheimer’s disease and other, related dementias progress, friends and family members may find it difficult to spend time visiting with the person with dementia. This program will provide insight into dementia and its effect on communication and behavior, and will introduce participants to techniques that can be used to make visits more comfortable and meaningful for all concerned.

Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease: The Basics
Learn the difference between normal, age-related memory changes and more serious memory problems that should be evaluated by a medical professional.  Topics that will be covered include: common causes of memory loss, risk factors, and the importance of an accurate diagnosis.

Please click here to see a list of the education programs currently available. If you would like to request an educational program, call the GIC at 847. 933.2413 and ask for Melanie Chavin.

Safety Services

It is common for a person with dementia to wander and become lost. Many do repeatedly. In fact, 6 out of 10 people with dementia will wander at some point during the course of the disease. Wandering can be dangerous – even life threatening. The stress of worrying about wandering can weigh heavily on caregivers and the family.

MedicAlert® + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return®
The Alzheimer’s Association and MedicAlert Foundation International have formed an alliance to provide a 24-hour nationwide emergency response service for individuals with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia who wander or have a medical emergency.  24-hour assistance is provided no matter when or where the person is reported missing.

Learn more about MedicAlert®+Safe Return

Comfort Zone®
Comfort Zone is a Web-based location management service that works with a variety of devices to monitor the whereabouts of an individual with Alzheimer’s. It delivers current information about the location of the person with dementia via email, text message, mobile application or the Internet. 

To learn more about Comfort Zone®

Support Groups

Support groups are regularly scheduled in-person or virtual gatherings of people with Alzheimer’s disease or related disorders, their family, friends or caregivers. If you are a person living with Alzheimer’s or are providing care for someone who is, consider joining a group. The opportunity to share your feelings, problems, strategies and successes with others who have similar concerns and experiences can be beneficial and empowering.

Learn more about support groups in your area

Volunteer Opportunities

Alzheimer’s Association Community Representative
Support Group Facilitator
Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Upcoming Events:

There are currently no events being offered at this time. Please contact Melanie Chavin, Director, Chief Program Officer, at 847.933.2413 for more information.

News You Can Use…

After twelve years of dedicated service to the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the South Side Dementia Consortium has been disbanded. We are grateful to the many hardworking individuals who comprised this group and provided many years of assistance and guidance in the planning of an annual conference for family caregivers. A new group, the Alzheimer’s Association’s African-American Memory Network , is in the initial stages of becoming established. The focus of this group will be more expansive in terms of its geographical reach and the scope of its work.  Check back for occasional updates as this group continues to evolve.


Alzheimer's Association

Our vision: A world without Alzheimer's disease®.
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.