Numbers are predicted to more than double by 2030 for African Americans aged 65 and over who are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and other related dementias. The Community Advisory Board (CAB) at the Indiana Alzheimer's Disease Research Center aims to reach the under-represented communities in Indianapolis and the surrounding area to share information about healthy aging and brain health. Through this effort, the board plans to increase people of color participating in screening and assessments through education, outreach and research study participation.
Indiana Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the Alzheimer’s Association provide educational information so that CAB members can be updated on current memory disorder topics and research. Board members have the opportunity to get to know expert faculty members, attend Alzheimer's disease presentations, health fairs and conferences. Additionally, members can shadow experienced members at events, practice outreach and educational skills through role-playing, and are provided cultural competence education, which is vital in order to better understand the people targeted as research participants. This also helps groups of people with cultural differences work together effectively in an effort to foster trust.
The board values the opportunity to collaborate with people within the community who want to participate in research and be involved with the center's outreach and engagement endeavors. Individuals are encouraged to get involved if they have a passion for Alzheimer's disease research, a personal dementia-related history or caregiving story, a connection to the community, involved with the medical community and/or comfortable with faith-based community outreach. Additionally, individuals who demonstrate cultural competence and humility, reflect the community they serve and represent other professions that interact with older adults and underrepresented communities are also encouraged to get involved.