The Alzheimer’s Association Brain Bus will be at Pride in the Park on Saturday
The Alzheimer’s Association is bringing its Brain Bus to Pride in the Park on Saturday to raise awareness of dementia and its growing effects on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community.
Jody Streussnig, program manager for the Florida Gulf Coast chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, said it was important for the association to visit during Polk Pride Week because more than 7% of LGBTQ people are living with dementia and their numbers are increasing.
“Age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and an estimated 2.7 million LGBTQ people are over the age of 50,” Streussnig said. “So with this, LGBTQ people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia face challenges related to the disease, including about 40% of their support networks have become smaller, 34% of this community lives alone And sometimes 40% of them say their healthcare providers don’t know their sexual orientation, and up to 30% experience lower rates of access to care,” said Streussnig.
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Streussnig said the Brain Bus “raises awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. It also addresses the benefits of early detection, early diagnosis, brain health and risk reduction.”
This is the first time the Brain Bus will be present at a Polk Pride event. Streussnig hopes to build a relationship with members of the LGBTQ community so that the Alzheimer’s Association can provide them with better services such as support groups or programs.
The Alzheimer’s Association said that in 2020, the Florida Department of Health reported that 11% of Polk County’s population age 65 and older had Alzheimer’s disease.
Pride in the Park is Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Munn Park, 201 E. Main St., Lakeland.
Breanna A. Rittman writes stories for The Ledger. Send your feature ideas to BRittm[email protected]