Sunday, August 19, 2007

Alzheimer's Disease: African American and Hispanic Survey Results

“The older I get, the less I remember.

She’s getting old and forgetful.

His mind goes blank since he turned seventy.

Do you hear comments like this a lot from senior citizens? I do. Many people equate old age with loss of memory. But a recent scientific survey concluded that almost 70% of African Americans and Hispanic families who have relatives with Alzheimer's disease dismiss their symptoms as part of aging, compared with about half of non-Hispanic whites.

This research information resulted from a survey released by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The telephone survey included 655 adults. Another conclusion of the survey is that African Americans and Hispanics were less likely than non-Hispanic whites to place relatives with Alzheimer's disease in nursing homes or assisted living facilities and more likely to rely on support groups. I know these choices are often based on cultural reasons. No doubt, hospice placement also would have ranked low if it had been surveyed.

These survey results indicate the need for more information outreach about Alzheimer’s disease, particularly among communities of color. The results partially explain why African Americans and Hispanics are often diagnosed late. More corrective measures should take place to prevent further racial-ethnic health disparities regarding Alzheimer’s disease.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
"Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes”
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the info. These will really help everyone who read this understand that AD makes it difficult for seniors to convey the whatever physical changes or discomfort they feel. People around older adults, especially those with Alzheimer's disease, should be more sensitive to the changes and needs of these seniors.

    Alzheimer Clinic