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April 25-27:The Alter Dementia Summit focuses on The Black Church as a resource for families

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The Inaugural Alter Dementia Summit will take place April 25 - 27, 2024, at the House of Hope Worship Center in Decatur, Georgia. ALTER focuses on engaging The Black Church to provide resources and education on dementia challenges and prevention.

Dementia is not a specific disease. It is a term for the impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interfere with everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Believe it or not, though dementia mostly affects older adults, it is not a part of normal aging. In other words, it can be prevented.

Dr. Fayron Epps, a medical professional and registered nurse, started ALTER in 2019 as a resource to educate faith leaders in our community. Dr. Epps strongly believes that there is a role for The Black Church to support and create safe spaces for family members, caregivers, and those who suffer from dementia. Dr. Fayron Epps has joined forces with the House of Hope Worship Center to host the inaugural Alter Dementia Summit April 25th - 27th in Decatur, GA.

I asked Epps to share with us her journey in healthcare and how she went from a nursing career to starting the non-profit ALTER. She spoke about working with patients, which introduced her to research on dementia. She realized that, like most health inequities in our community, there weren’t enough resources or awareness about the challenges families faced when a loved one was diagnosed with dementia.

She shares that while dementia in our families isn’t new, it also isn’t our destiny. There are many things that we can do to reduce our risk of contracting the disease. Epps goes on to speak about cardiovascular health and vascular dementia. When asked about why she chose to target the Black Church, she speaks to being a woman of faith and that culturally, we lean on our churches as a place for resources.

When asked who should attend the Alter Dementia Summit, she speaks to anyone who wants to make a difference. Family, Caregivers, Church members, and Community Members are all invited to attend.

For more information on the Alter Dementia Summit

For more information on Fayron Epps, Ph.D., RN, FGSA, FAAN