Researchers Hope This Tool Will Help Black Communities Deal With Alzheimer’s and Dementia

African-Americans make up 13% of the population nationwide, yet they bear a third of the cost of caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s.

While Alzheimer’s disease is the most common, it’s not the only form of dementia, a family of disorders that impact memory, judgement, and day-to-day life.

Malcoma Brown-Ekeogu’s husband, Kenneth, was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2016. She said caring for Kenneth cost their retirement fund.

Brown-Ekeogu misses Kenneth even though he is still here.

“My husband is my gift. Regardless of where he is, mentally, he’s my gift,” she said. “He still has a heart of love. As far as being able to do the day-to-day things, to remember to take a bath, to not put all of his food in his mouth at the same time, to go to the restroom on his own, to clean himself, to have a conversation. Those are the things that I miss most about him.”

Brown-Ekeogu, herself diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, is his sole care partner. She said Kenneth stopped working when diabetes took his sight.

“Then, when this happened with his brain, you know, I knew that my time in the workforce was not going to be long, because he was beginning to need more care,” she said.

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