Multiple churches in the Chattanooga area will unite to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s and dementia during Memory Sunday.
The day is a National Alzheimer’s and Caregiving Awareness Campaign for black congregations.
“African Americans are three times as likely to get Alzheimer’s and dementia and often times we don’t know what to do or where to go,” Chaney Speaks CEO Christopher-Charles Chaney said.
This is the second year for Memory Sunday in Chattanooga.
“We are localizing this national movement for a second year by calling it Memory Sunday Chattanooga,” Chaney said. “Last year, Chattanooga was recognized as the top participating city in the country. We are excited that our continued efforts will create awareness for a public health crisis among African Americans living in our city.”
About fourteen local churches will participate in Memory Sunday Chattanooga and will be distributing information on Alzheimer’s and dementia.
“We are reaching out to various congregations, and we give them the choice of how they would like to deliver the message to their congregations, and what I do is provide them with ideas along with a national sponsor,” Chaney said.
Chaney Speaks doesn’t charge for services. They point people in the right direction, he said.
“There are 44 million caregivers in the United States today and that number is growing,” Chaney said. “We have about 5 million with Alzheimer’s the majority of those with Alzheimer’s are African Americans. It’s not going to go away, it’s going to grow, and we as a community need to be totally aware so that we know where to go for support.”
Participating congregations will receive free access to the Memory Sunday tool kit, promotional materials, program implementation ideas, and a local representative, officials said.
Congregations can do a full promotional event or simply announce the campaign and community resources during their morning service.
“We need to understand that there are education awareness organizations that can provide us information and lead us through the journey of Alzheimer’s whether you are the person with Alzheimer’s or you are a caregiver,” Chaney said. “We want you to be aware of what’s available so that you can get ahead of the disease and its requirements.”
Memory Sunday will be taking place on June 10.
Church organizations can get involved or registered for Memory Sunday events and receive free promotional materials here.
“There is no better time and no better place for our community to learn about Alzheimer’s than in the church,” Real Life Christian Ministries senior pastor Ruth Thomas, one of Memory Sunday Chattanooga’s participants, said.
Savannah Bennett is a contributing writer. She currently attends UTC where she is a feature writer of the student newspaper, The University Echo. She is a double major in communications and English: creative writing. Savannah was also a participant in the Disney College Program during the fall of 2017.