Doing More to Promote Alzheimer’s Awareness in the African American Community

Doing More to Promote Alzheimer’s Awareness in the African American Community
Earlier this week, Americans celebrated the life and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Of his many inspiring speeches, King's “I Have a Dream” speech is probably the most recognizable, striking a chord for equality in the hearts of Americans. King stood before a crowd of over 250,000 people who marched on Washington, D.C. to request change for the nation.

Civil rights changed the face of healthcare

Change occurred as the U.S. altered its way of living. Eventually, integration replaced segregation, but in 1963, at the time of King’s speech, hospitals and wards were still designated as “white” or “colored.” The late poet Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.” The U.S. learned to do — and did — better. However, when it comes to healthcare, a 2018 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicates that disparities remain along racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines. Could healthcare disparities, which vary by group, account for the African American community’s lack of awareness regarding Alzheimer’s disease (AD)? According to the report: "Consistent disparities remain among Blacks and Hispanics compared with non-Hispanic Whites in the:
  • Prevalence and incidence of AD,
  • Participation in clinical trials,
  • Use of medications and other interventions,
  • Use of long-term services and supports,
  • Healthcare expenditures,
  • Qua
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