As more American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) live into their 70s, 80s, and beyond, younger
generations have more time to learn from and receive traditions from older generations. Advanced age,
though, increases risk for Alzheimer’s and other dementias. When memory and thinking problems interfere
with daily life, the impact of dementia spreads across generations.
The new Healthy Brain Initiative’s (HBI) Road Map for Indian Country is a practical tool for tribal officials,
tribal health and aging services professionals, and regional tribal health organizational leaders to learn
about dementia and how communities can respond. It suggests public health strategies to enhance wellness
for older adults affected by dementia, support family care, and promote brain health across generations. As
a set of case studies show, the strategies are flexible so AI/AN communities can build in traditional wellness
practices and focus on local priorities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Alzheimer’s Association jointly developed
the Road Map after extensive input from AI/AN leaders, experts, and practitioners. CDC also partnered
with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials to develop communications materials on the
connection between brain health and heart health. Tribal leaders can use the Healthy Heart, Healthy Brain
materials to educate community members, one of the strategies in the Road Map.
To get the Road Map, find data and more, go to alz.org/publichealth/IndianCountry or cdc.gov/aging. For
public health news about dementia and alerts about new tools for the HBI Road Map for Indian Country,
subscribe to CDC’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging Program Newsletter and the Alzheimer’s Public
Health News mailing list.
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