Breaking down the racial disparities that keep many from Alzheimer’s care

Local News

For the first time ever, the experience of racial and ethnic minorities was included in the 2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Report.

These are populations that are more likely to get the disease but less likely to get the care needed, according to the Director of Diversity for the North Dakota/Minnesota Alzheimer’s Association Chapter, Sherry Sanchez Tibbetts.

The report found nearly two-thirds of Black Americans and 45% of Native Americans believe that medical research is biased against people of color. Another association representative said Alzheimer’s data has never been available for North Dakota’s Indigenous communities before, because of those less than positive experiences.

Sanchez Tibbetts says we’ve known these disparities have existed for some time. The next step is understanding why at the policy, healthcare and community levels.

When asked if the Alzheimer’s Association keeps equal data for communities of color, Sanchez Tibbetts responded, “This survey, the 2021 survey is the first time we’ve put numbers behind people’s experiences but the Alzheimer’s Association has collected data on the communities that we serve, and we’re trying to increase our partnership with all communities.”

The report also revealed that fewer than half of Black and Native Americans feel confident medical providers understand their cultural background and experiences.

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