During Black History Month, I’d like to recognize the impact Alzheimer’s disease has on the African American population. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are currently more than 5 million Americans living with the disease, and it’s the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. It is also disproportionately impacting the African American community, as older African Americans are twice as likely as older white Americans to develop the disease.
For agencies such as the Alzheimer’s Association Nebraska Chapter, advocacy is especially important, as Alzheimer's is one of the most underfunded chronic health conditions, said Sharon Stephens, Executive Director for the Alzheimer’s Association Nebraska Chapter. “While there has been significant growth in funding for Alzheimer's disease research, we are still behind.”
This November, we recognize heroes like William “Bill” Myers in honor of both Veteran's Day and National Family Caregiver Month. Bill enlisted in the U.S. Navy in June 1966, right after graduating from high school. He served on the Battleship USS New Jersey, the most decorated warship in US Naval history, from early 1968 to his separation in December 1969. “We spent 8 months off the coast of Vietnam during this period,” he said.