Breaking stigmas, creating awareness, and increasing age-sensitive education are three key elements to improve the lives Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers

This post originally appeared on the NHCOA blog.

The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) continues its work by looking for strategies that amplify the voices of thousands of families facing Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, so their specific needs can be included in the decision-making process across public health.

Latinos face a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias because they are not only living longer (2.5 years longer than whites and 8 years longer than blacks), but they also face severe health disparities, including high levels of hunger, higher rates of type 2 diabetes incidence and complication rates, and lack of access to health insurance.

Around 18% of Hispanic.... Read More

             

Brain Health & Inequality: Reflections on the Aspen Summit on Inequality & Opportunity

The 2017 Aspen Summit on Inequality & Opportunity brought together a diverse mix of policymakers, thought leaders, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and practitioners to address the nation’s widening opportunity gap. Tucked between to-be-expected panels on manufacturing and hunger, was a 15 minute talk by Dr. Sarah Enos Watamura, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Denver and Director of the Child Health & Development Lab, on the biology of adversity. She opened by posing the question: How could a consideration of biology inform policy and practice solutions for moving families from inequality to opportunity?

Dr. Watamura highlighted research by.... Read More

             

Ending the Disparate Impact of Alzheimer’s Disease on African Americans

monroe-233x300by Stephanie Johnson Monroe, Director of the African American Network Against Alzheimer’s. This article originally appeared on the LEAD Coalition website. The LEAD Coalition is a diverse and growing national coalition of more than 90 member organizations committed to overcoming Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. To learn more, click here.

African Americans experiencing health disparities is not new. In fact, according to former Surgeon General of the United States and Honorary Chair of the African American Network Against Alzheimer’s, Dr. David Satcher, race based health disparities in the United States are both “pervasive and persistent,”.... Read More

             

“These Seniors are Survivors:” Serving Cambodian Elders in Chicago

This week, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) Executive Director Quyen Dinh travels to Chicago to talk about the needs of Southeast Asian American refugee elders with the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) at the American Society on Aging conference. The DEC is the only national coalition dedicated to raising awareness about the unique needs of LGBT elders, American Indian/Alaska Native elders, immigrant elders, and elders of color.

The seniors program of the Chicago-area Cambodian Association of Illinois (CAI) demonstrates that while many of the needs of Southeast Asian American elders are similar to those of other diverse seniors, they also have very specific needs: culturally, linguistically, and as survivors of.... Read More

             

They Fought for the U.S. in Laos. Now Many Older Hmong Fight Depression.

by Alice Daniel. Alice reported this story for KQED public radio’s statewide “California Report,” as part of a Journalists in Aging Fellowship supported by New America Media, the Gerontological Society of America and the Silver Century Foundation. This story was first published by New America Media.

Click to hear the radio report of this story.

Dia Yang is a cultural broker at the Fresno Center for New Americans. She helps Southeast Asian refugees acclimate to the United States.

On this rainy day, she’s working with a dozen older Hmong men and women who find life in America really hard.

Yang instructs them in a crafts activity: decorating little paper gift.... Read More

             

Every Minute Counts

Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease; every minute, a family is changed forever. In the coming decades, the number of Latino families impacted by this progressive brain disease will grow dramatically due to an increase in the Latino older adult population and higher rates of of diabetes and heart disease, both risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

According to a recent report by the USC Roybal Institute on Aging and the LatinosAgainstAlzheimer’s Network, the number of Latinos living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia could reach 1.1 million by 2030 and cost Latino families as much as $30 billion annually. However, Latinos are less likely to receive an.... Read More

             

Shattering Stigma: Tell Your Story for Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and at the Diverse Elders Coalition, we’re working to shine a spotlight on the unique mental health needs of our elders of color, American Indian/Alaska Native elders, and LGBTQ elders.

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Research by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that mental illness affects one in five American adults, yet nearly two-thirds of people with a diagnosable mental illness do not seek treatment. For American Indian/Alaska Native communities, as many as 28% of adults may be living with a mental illness; LGBTQ adults experience even higher rates of mental illness (40%)..... Read More

             

Two Stories from the Frontlines of Millennial Caregiving

As Alzheimer’s and brain awareness month comes to a close, I want to highlight two powerful stories that underscore trends that deserve greater attention: the growing impact of Alzheimer’s on communities of color and the growth of the millennial caregiver.

UsAgainstAlzheimer’s recently partnered with Genius of Caring, a web-based initiative that documents the growing impact of Alzheimer’s and dementia on families, to present the story of Kamaria Moore, 30, and her mother Mary, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 58. Kamaria is a new homeowner, recently engaged, and solely responsible for her mother’s intensive care.

Kamaria’s experience highlights the growing impact of dementia on African Americans, a community three times more.... Read More

             

Suicide and LGBTQ/SGL Older Adults

During Black History Month, Mary’s House for Older Adults, SAGE Metro DC, and AARP DC held a LGBTQ/SGL (same gender-loving) State of the Union. One of the issues brought to the forefront was the increase of suicides among LGBTQ elders in nursing homes and other facilities. Surprised?

While we’re all sort of aware that suicide is a leading cause of death for youth aged 10 to 24, we rarely think of it as a leading cause for elders. However, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) has a startling statistic: people 45-64 years old had the highest suicide rate in 2013, and elders 85 years.... Read More

             

My Friend Daisy

Daisy Duarte is one of my personal heroes. She’s not a member of congress, a policy wonk, or a world-renowned research scientist, but she’s disrupting the way we think about Alzheimer’s on the Hill, in research labs, and in communities across the country. Daisy is a proud Latina, a full-time caregiver for her mother with Alzheimer’s, and a clinical trial participant. And as the number of Latinos with Alzheimer’s is projected to grow dramatically over the next 30 years, she’s exactly the kind of voice we need in the fight against Alzheimer’s today.

From her difficulty getting a timely and accurate diagnosis to her costly emergency room visit, Daisy’s story is typical of many Latino families struggling with Alzheimer’s..... Read More

             
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