Alzheimer’s disease has been identified as an emerging public health crisis among African American communities. This silent epidemic ofAlzheimer’s has slowly invaded the African American community and will continue to grow as numbers of African American baby boomers enter the age of risk. Furthermore, health risks and barriers such as culture, lack of awareness, and limited local services will exacerbate the epidemic. Caregivers will continue to play a major role in providing care. Age is a key risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease in all racial and ethnic groups. The number of African-Americans age 65 and over will more than double by 2030, from 2.7 million in 1995 to 6.9 million by 2030 The number of African-Americans age 85 and over is growing almost as rapidly, from 277,000 in 1995 to 638,000 in 2030 and will increasen more than five-fold between 1995 and 2050, when it will reach 1.6 million. This is of even greater concern for African-Americans, who are two times more likely to develop late-onset. There are many barriers in African American communities that prevent eaerly diagnosis and treatment. African Americans a general belief that dementia is a normal aging process or a mental illness. Symptoms are often unrecognized until elders are unable to fulfill their family/social roles. As a result, services are not used until late in the disease, limiting the effectiveness of treatments that depend upon early intervention. Many barriers in African American communities prevent early diagnosis and treatment.
Because African-Americans are more likely to have vascular disease which is a disorder that affects the circulatory system, they may also be at greater risk for developing Alzheimer's. There are many other conditions that may cause memory loss or dementia, which includes, tumors or infection in the brain, medication side effects, and some thyroid, kidney, or liver disorders. Emotional problems, such as stress, anxiety, or depression, can make a