As a Registered Nurse, I have many years of experience as a Resident Services Director at Personal Care Homes and Assisted Living Communities.
I could not help but notice that during my 5+ years in these communities and the hundreds of residents whose care I managed, I only came across 1 or 2 residents who were people of color.
So why this drastic difference?
My research has shown me that there is no difference in the cases of dementia. So I dug a little deeper and I went into my own community and talked to some people that I knew and some that I didn't know and gathered all the data I could and ultimately revealed two barriers.
As a person of color, culturally, we handle dementia and the needs of cognitive changes and challenges differently.
Currently we as people of color do not readily open up about what is happening in our households. We do not open up about the changes we see with grandma, or grandpa or mom or dad. We do not know what to look for. Inherently we do not trust 'just anyone' with caring for our loved one.
So unfortunately, all too often, our loved ones and the family members involved go without the very helpful knowledge, and resources that would be most beneficial in the last golden years of their lives.