July 19, 2021

senior hugging family caregiver

Learn how dementia may differ for those in the Hispanic community

A new study sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association is revealing some unexpected results regarding the differences in dementia progression in Hispanic people. While further exploration is needed to completely understand whether these differences are the results of social/cultural nuances or perhaps the dementia itself, it is important information for Latino families to know.

Daily Life Activities

One highlight of this research was the considerably faster decline in the capacity to do everyday activities, such as getting dressed, walking, and taking a shower, compared to other ethnicities. Andrea Ochoa Lopez, the University of Houston doctoral student who directed the research, stated that the cultural dedication to caring for senior loved ones might be a contributing factor.

“Some families want to start doing everything for their older members to try and remove some of the burdens and make their lives easier,” she mentioned. “But there is research showing that when cognition is declining, older people actually do better when they stay active. And there is also still stigma. They may not want their elder family member to be seen as ill or mentally unstable.”

Anxiety and Depression

Even though we understand depression and anxiety are risk factors for dementia, a different study of 5,000 individuals revealed a significantly higher percentage of Hispanic individuals reporting these concerns: significantly more than 25%, in comparison to about 16% and 11% in black and non-Hispanic white participants, respectively. Concentrating on the mental wellness of people with dementia is essential. Clinical psychologist Michael Cuccaro states, “We have lots of great evidence that medications and talk therapy help, but minorities have the lowest rate of getting this help.”

Although more extensive studies are required to better comprehend these ethnic differences in dementia, finding minorities to take part in research is challenging. Latinos currently make up fewer than 8% of existing dementia scientific research studies – in spite of the fact that the prevalence of dementia in Latinos is as much as 50% higher than it is in non-Hispanic whites.

Families thinking about current Latino dementia research opportunities can look at the Alzheimer’s Association’s TrialMatch page to learn more.

At Continuum, our care aides are extensively trained and experienced in assisting adults with whatever their particular challenges are, making life the very best it can be. We achieve this by consulting with each older adult in his or her home before the beginning of services, helping us to create a customized plan of care. We then carefully monitor the care plan over time to make certain that needs are always met thoroughly, both now and also as needs change over time.

Whether the need is for only a little assistance with housework and meals, transportation and companionship, or if additional specialized dementia home care is needed, Continuum has the perfect solution. Looking for dementia care in St. Louis? We provide care throughout St. Louis and St. Charles counties. Give us a call at 636-861-3336 or 314-863-9912 to set up your free in-home consultation to learn more.