BP teams up with Alzheimer’s Association to promote early testing, treatment

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THE BRONX -

Alzheimer's is a disease that causes memory loss and the reduction of cognitive abilities – it also touches nearly every family in the Bronx.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. recently spoke in a PSA about the impact of Alzheimer’s disease.

"We want people to educate themselves to get tested early, so they can get treated early,” says Diaz Jr.

The borough president has family impacted by the disease and says he is not alone.

Margaret Alexander and Susan Shields are taking care of their mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 15 years ago.

"This whole journey is like you're grieving for the person who [is] still alive; and when I think back and look at pictures, I can't sometimes because I become emotional,” says Shields.

Their mother, who is in a wheelchair, still sometimes enjoys her favorite music.

"She needs us to speak for her on her behalf, to make sure she gets the quality care that she gets,” says Shields.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one out of every 45 African-Americans over 45 deals with cognitive decline.

They also are twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

The borough president and the Alzheimer’s Association say there is no shame in getting tested or asking for help. 

"You're overwhelmed. You don't really have time to do the research to find out about the resources that are out there,” says Chelsea-Lyn Rudder, of the Alzheimer's Association.

Caregivers spend a lot of their time taking care of loved ones who raised them. The Alzheimer’s Association says they are there for them too, so they can also live the best life possible. 

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