African Descent/Somali Family Caregivers Bridge Program

Allegheny West Conference/African American Alzheimer's and Wellness Association

Columbus, OH

The African American Alzheimer’s and Wellness Association was established in 2005, and the Allegheny West Conference of SDA, as the fiscal agent, was established in 1950. Both are non-profit organizations. The AAAWA has a board comprised of 11 individuals, representing healthcare professionals and community organizations. As a result of the growing numbers of individuals of African descent suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, this organization was established. The organization provides support, education and linkages to families that are suffering from this debilitating disease. The Bridge Program was instituted to fill the gap that exists in these communities due to culture differences. The AAAWA has been recognized by the Ohio Senator’s Office as a much needed program in the local communities. The AAAWA conducts annual fundraisers, from awareness walks to formal banquets, to raise the necessary capital to make these services available to vulnerable communities of African descent. Website: www.africanamericanalz.org

The primary goal of the Bridge Program is to provide families of African descent with Alzheimer’s disease caregiver resources.. Many of the caregivers suffer from Post Traumatic Syndrome (PTS) from experiencing wars and violence in their home countries which include Somalia, Ethiopia and Ghana. By providing respite, translation, support groups, memory screenings, linkage to legal resources, family consultations and other services, the Bridge Program has assisted many families care for their family members who have Alzheimer’s Disease. The Bridge Program provides a doorway for caregivers to find culturally appropriate relief and support throughout the long journey of providing care for their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease.