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Heat Emergency in Boston
Mayor Wu announced a heat emergency in the City of Boston through Wednesday, July 17. Cooling centers will be open at 14 BCYF community centers Monday through Wednesday, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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Brain Health

BPHC is working with partners across Boston to create a plan, policies, and programs to help residents promote brain health throughout their lives.

Boston BOLD Project

BPHC received a two-year, $700,000 grant from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Brain Initiative. With this funding, BPHC launched the Boston BOLD Project and is working to build systems and support policy changes related to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Using insights gathered from meetings with our stakeholder coalitions and our community needs assessment, BPHC is creating a strategic plan for the city of Boston to meet the needs of residents living with or at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia and their caregivers.

Boston BOLD Project Citywide Advisory Committee

BOLD Partners: Alzheimer’s Association - Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter, Black Ministerial Alliance/Tenpoint Coalition, Boston Public Health Commission, Age Strong Commission, Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities - City of Boston, Emergency Medical Services - City of Boston, Multicultural Alzheimer’s Prevention Program - Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Housing Authority, Boston Medical Center, Boston Senior Home Care, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, Caregiver/Advocate Lisa Mitchell,RN

BOLD Project Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan

Data & Planning

Healthy equity is a cross-cutting theme across all five priorities in the city's Alzheimer's and dementia strategic plan.

  • Priority 1: Finding and Connecting to Support Services
  • Priority 2: Care Partner Support
  • Priority 3: Workforce/System Capacity
  • Priority 4: Risk Reduction, Screening, and Diagnosis
  • Priority 5: Surveillance Data Collection


Brain Health Basics

Brain health refers to how well a person’s brain functions in various ways. This includes: 

  • Cognitive health: how well you think, learn, and remember 
  • Motor function: how well you make and control body movements 
  • Emotional function: how well you understand and respond to emotions  
  • Tactile function: how well you feel and respond to pressure, pain, and temperature 

Blue text box explaining what happens to your brain as you age, and tan text boxes listing ways you can keep your brain healthy throughout your lifespan

What is dementia?

It is normal to be a little more forgetful as we age. However, some difficulties with how you think, remember, and learn could mean you have cognitive impairment such as dementia.

Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning, such as thinking, remembering, and reasoning skills, to the point where it interferes with daily life and activities. 

Dementia is an umbrella term for memory loss and cognitive decline caused by a variety of diseases and other factors.

Symptoms of dementia may include problems with language skills, visual perception, and paying attention. Some people have personality changes. 

The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer's, but dementia also includes Frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and dementias from more than one cause. 

Alzheimer's vs. Dementia

Dementia is a general word for problems with memory, understanding, and thinking skills. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia. Most people who have dementia have Alzheimer's disease. 

  • Alzheimer’s begins with memory loss and can end up making it difficult to hold a conversation, think clearly, and can make it hard for a person to complete daily activities. 
  • Alzheimer’s is a disease that get worse with time. 
  • Alzheimer’s involves parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language. 

Alzheimer’s is a specific brain disease and the most common cause of dementia, a general term for symptoms of memory loss and cognitive decline.

More About Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's Disease

According to the Alzheimer's Association, there are 10 early warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. If you or your loved one experience any of these signs or symptoms, do not ignore them and contact your doctor.

To learn more about these warning signs, visit Memory Loss & 10 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s |

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life

  • Challenges in planning or solving problems

  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks 

  • Confusion with time or place

  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships

  • New problems with words in speaking or writing

  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps

  • Decreased or poor judgment

  • Withdrawal from work or social activities

  • Changes in mood and personality

  • Over 5.8 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease 
  • It is most common in African American, Black, and Hispanic populations 
  • It is also more common in populations with chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension  
  • Alzheimer’s is most common in adults aged 65 or older, but it is also possible for younger people to get it 
  • There is not a single cause, but there are risk factors 
  • You have an increased risk of getting Alzheimer's if someone in your family has the disease 
  • Other risk factors include having certain chronic diseases, including diabetes and hypertension, eating unhealthy foods, not exercising, having had a brain injury, or exposure to certain toxic chemicals such as lead
  • Incorporating healthy behaviors, such as exercising and eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein foods, can help lower your risk 


Infographic listing steps people with Alzheimer's or Dementia and their caregivers can take to keep their home safe.

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