This project is an extension of the Education and Information Transfer Core's activities of the Massachusetts ADRC. Its goals are to develop educational protocols and implement training for staff from participating health and social service organizations in the Black community, in order to raise awareness about Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and related dementias and provide information about available service options to help cope with dementing illnesses in defined neighborhoods of Boston's inner city. An intensive training program will also be created to assist family caregivers manage demented patients in the home. In order to design a realistic program, we have conducted several preliminary surveys: a) telephone interviews with national Alzheimer's Association Chapters regarding the main features, problems, and successes of their outreach activities; b) combination telephone/mail/ in-person interviews with staff from existing neighborhood health centers and major home medical and social service agencies, concerning resource utilization and client-base. Boston area universities and hospitals that are active in community affairs as well as state and city agencies concerned with elderly affairs have provided information and support for the planning of this outreach effort. The program will begin with a 4 months' needs assessment to determine unmet community needs regarding dementing illness and how best to mobilize and integrate community resources to meet these needs. At present, collaborative arrangements have been made with the Eastern Massachusetts Alzheimer's Association, Boston City Hospital's Long Term Care division, Massachusetts ADRC, City of Boston's Departments of Elder Affairs and Health and Hospitals. Five Neighborhood Health Centers, one large Senior Center serving the Black community of Dorchester, and four home care organizations have also agreed to participate. Our outreach efforts will be based on the successful experience of the Rochester ADRC and Alzheimer's disease chapter. A Black outreach worker will be identified, hired by the local Alzheimer's Association, and centered in a senior center or church in the targeted community. This individual will be trained in AD care and outreach at the Massachusetts ADRC clinics and neighborhood health centers, utilizing extensive educational materials developed by the ADRC, Alzheimer's Association, and clinicians at affiliated institutions and service agencies. We will also provide culturally-sensitive in-home training for select family caregivers of demented individuals. The level of knowledge about AD and relevant services among lay and professional caretakers will be evaluated before and after the educational intervention using direct, phone and mailed interviews. The combined support of Boston institutions serving minority populations, and the experience of the investigators in working with these institutions and AD patients will assure that this project meets its stated goals.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Education Projects (R25)
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Neuroscience, Behavior and Sociology of Aging Review Committee (NBSA)
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Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for Aged
United States
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