Aging and Memory in the African American Community Conference

Conference about dementia for African Americans

The Aging and Memory in the African American Community Conference, scheduled for June 2nd, 2012, is the signature educational event organized by the PreSERVE Coalition designed to initiate healthy change for individuals and community.

The PreSERVE Coalition is a group of individuals from healthcare, service organizations and the community, collaborating on initiatives that support the health and well being of older adult African Americans in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. They focus particularly on brain health and the many aspects of preserving memory.

The 3rd annual Aging and Memory in the African American Community Conference will take place on Saturday, June 2, 2012
9 am – 3:30 pm at:

University of Portland
Buckley Center and Buckley Center Auditorium
5000 North Willamette Boulevard
Portland, OR 97203-5743

This year’s conference will once again feature the latest research on factors that contribute to the development of memory loss and dementia; methods to delay or prevent memory loss; and techniques for healthy aging in the African American community.

The event is free to the community.

The keynote speaker is; Monica Willis Parker, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at Emory University and Principal Investigator for the Registry for Remembrance.

Dr. Parker will present on the association between memory and healthful behaviors, including the role played by chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and depression. She will also share how she and her team engaged community members in health-promoting activities and increased awareness of the importance of minority involvement in research.

There will be a Special lunchtime presentation by Renee Mitchell.
A natural storyteller, Renee is an exceptional public speaker who uses humor, original poetry and her professionally trained theatrical experience to empower, motivate and delightfully entertain all types of audiences.

Student volunteers from the Humboldt and Harriett Tubman schools will hold sessions throughout the day to interview and record oral histories of elders. Each participant will have a fifteen minute interview/recording session and leave with a recording of their story.

Attendants may choose from one of the following morning workshops:

  • Beating the Blues: Mental Wellness in the African-American Community. Danette C. Haynes, LCSW, Clinical Director of the OHSU Avel Gordly Center for Healing, will provide information about the signs of anxiety, depression and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, coping strategies and skills for mental well-being and culturally-sensitive resources available to the African-American community
  • Yoga and Tai Chi. Yoga and Tai Chi offer a number of benefits including a gentle form of exercise that does not stress joints and muscles, stress reduction, improved strength, balance and stability. Join Allyson Spencer as she presents the basics of these ancient disciplines and walks attendees through simple exercises that can be done at home.
  • Improving the Health of the African American Community: A closer look at the connection between diabetes and brain health. Dr. Jeannine Skinner, geriatric neuropsychology fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine, will discuss current research on the role of insulin in memory loss disorders, and her current research examining how physical activity affects memory and other thinking abilities in African Americans at risk for diabetes.
  • Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and Early Warning Signs of Caregiver Stress. This workshop will be co-presented by Pamela Mottola, Client Services Manager, Alzheimer’s Association, and Celesta Paul, family caregiver.
  • Greens, Beans and Dark Things: Eating for Pleasure and Health on a Budget. By Joyce McGee, nutrition educator and caterer with Pans, Pots & Skillets.American community

Afternoon workshops (choose one):

  • Beating the Blues: Mental Wellness in the African-American Community (repeat)
  • Improving the Health of the African American Community (repeat)
  • Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and Early Warning Signs of Caregiver Stress (repeat)
  • Don’t Just Talk About it, Be About It! Attendees will be invited to brainstorm ideas on how to take the message of a healthy lifestyle and healthy brain out into their communities.

Click the link below for an article with more information about the prevalence of Alzheimer’s among African Americans.
African Americans and Hispanics are More Likely to Develop Alzheimer’s

For more information and a detailed itinerary for the Aging and Memory in the African American Community Conference, please visit this ling to the PreSERVE Coalition’s website:

The 2012 conference is made possible thanks to these generous sponsors: Layton Aging & Alzheimer’s Disease Center, OHSU Multnomah County Aging & Disability Services, Providence ElderPlace, AARP Oregon, Volunteers of America, Oregon, Black United Fund, Alzheimer’s Association Oregon Chapter, The Links, Inc.,
Portland Chapter

Donations can be made to the Layton Aging & Alzheimer’s Disease Center through this link:

Helping Black communities with Alzheimer's and dementia

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