“Washington Post” Highlights Dementia Care Disparities Faced by Women of Color



The Washington Post highlighted the numerous health disparities women of color face when they or their loved ones are diagnosed with dementia in a Dec. 9 article.

The article expounds on findings from the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2021 special report on racial and ethnic disparities in dementia care. Jason Resendez, executive director of the UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Center for Brain Health Equity, discussed how these disparities disproportionately affect women of color.

“People of color, but particularly women of color, are in the crosshairs of our nation’s dementia crisis in so many ways — from being at greater risk of dementia, to being more likely to serve as a caregiver for someone living with dementia, to having their economic security threatened by caregiving,” Resendez told The Post.

FTD caregiver Aisha Adkins shared her family’s difficult journey in confirming her mother’s FTD diagnosis and how she had to advocate on her mother’s behalf for answers.

When Adkins’ mother, Rose, saw a neurologist for clarity on the source of her sudden change in behavior — severe mood swings, quick-temperedness, and short-term memory loss — the specialist attributed her issues to menopause-related stress.

Adkins believed there was more going on with her mother and sought another opinion. Rose was then diagnosed with young-onset Alzheimer’s and prescribed medications that worsened her symptoms.

“She seemed to get worse at a rapid pace,” Adkins told AFTD last year. “I joined some support groups online and did some preliminary research and saw there are other options, that it could be another type of dementia.”

When her mother was diagnosed with FTD in 2013, Adkins had to rearrange her life to care for her mother on a full-time basis.

“The time that my peers spent developing relationships and forming families, I spent caring for my mom,” she said. “I know that I really did commit to giving her quality care, and did not commit halfway.”

Adkins continued: “You can spend hours asking, ‘Why? Why me? Why my family? Why my mother?’ The greater question for me is always more so for researchers, for funders, for society at large — what can we do to solve for these disparities?”

Read the full Washington Post article here.

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