“Alzheimer’s disease is a global crisis that needs native-language resources which help family members and caregivers improve their ability to manage the challenging symptoms and behaviors associated with brain disease,” says Skinner. “Many Latino caregivers end up being family members, as many Latinos live in multigenerational households — homes that include two or more adult generations. By utilizing the tools in our book, ‘Verdad, Mentiras Y Alzheimer – Sus Caras Secretas’, family members can resume spending quality time with their loved one, and that’s the real magic.”
The Alzheimer’s Association statistics revealed that Hispanic people are about 50% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than non-Latino whites but are less likely to pursue treatment for the disease. Instead, they tend to rely on informal care from family and community members. This can lead to poor health outcomes because of low awareness of the disease and its symptoms as well as limited access to medical resources.
Puerto Rican recording star Luis Fonsi’s abuelita (grandmother) suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Fonsi is now a spokesperson for the Alzheimer’s Association.
“We should talk about it, and we should take time and read about it and learn. I did not know that us Latinos were more affected,” Fonsi told People, referring to the data in the 2022 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report. “I hope the song (Girasoles) will resonate not only for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but also for their loved ones and caregivers who also need that love,” the singer/songwriter added.
“As a caregiver, having an Alzheimer’s diagnosis means you could be in for the long haul. On average, a person with Alzheimer's lives four to eight years after diagnosis but can live 20 years or more,” shares Skinner. “That will impact Latinos’ ability to stay in the workforce because caregiving is often a full-time commitment. There’s not yet a cure or an effective way for early diagnosis either. Changes in the brain related to Alzheimer's begin years before any signs of the disease.”
$2.35 Trillion Economic Impact
The economic impact of Alzheimer’s on the Latino community will reach a cumulative amount of $2.35 trillion by 2060, according to the study.
Higher risk of Alzheimer's for older COVID survivors
It's not clear whether COVID-19 triggers or accelerates development of Alzheimer's disease, noting that it has been associated with inflammation and central nervous system disorders. Older people who were infected with COVID-19 show a 60% higher risk developing Alzheimer’s disease within a year, according to a study of more than 6 million patients 65 and older.
"The factors that play into the development of Alzheimer’s disease have been poorly understood, but two pieces considered important are prior infections, especially viral infections, and inflammation," said study author Pamela Davis, MD, PhD.
About Lisa Skinner:
Best-selling author Lisa Skinner is a behavioral specialist with more than a quarter-century of experience in the field of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. She is a Certified Dementia Care Trainer through the Alzheimer’s Association.
Lisa has appeared on such national and regional media broadcasts including CBS News, NBC News, Fox News, ABC News, USA Today, Health & Fitness, and many others.
Contact: Dianemarie (DM) Collins
+1 775.742.8403 DM@DMProductionsLLC.com @DMCollins