CHICAGO -- According to the Alzheimer's Association "Hispanic Perceptions of Alzheimer's Disease" survey(1), which was funded by MetLife Foundation and released during National Hispanic Heritage Month, 64 percent of survey respondents felt that the Latino community is not very aware or not at all aware of Alzheimer's disease. This information, coupled with the finding that Hispanics are one and one-half times more likely to have Alzheimer's disease and dementia than whites(2), demonstrates the need for additional Alzheimer's information and support services in the Latino community.
From the Alzheimer's Association "Hispanic Perceptions of Alzheimer's Disease" survey:
While more than 90 percent of those surveyed knew that Alzheimer's is a progressive brain disease that causes memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior, only half (53 percent) knew it is a fatal disease.
Seventy three percent of those surveyed felt that knowing the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's is very important. However,
Only thirty nine percent of people survey knew that trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships is a warning sign of Alzheimer's.
Only thirty eight percent of people survey knew that challenges in planning or solving problems is warning sign of Alzheimer's.
Only thirty four percent of those surveyed knew that withdrawal from work or social activities is a warning sign of Alzheimer's.
Fifty four percent of those surveyed incorrectly thought forgetting which day it is but remembering later is a warning sign of Alzheimer's.
Forty percent of those surveyed incorrectly thought losing things from time to time is a warning sign of Alzheimer's.
Despite this knowledge gap, at 71 percent the majority of survey respondents indicated that they would like to learn more about Alzheimer's warning signs. To help meet those needs, the Alzheimer's Association has created a Spanish-language educational workshop entitled "Know the 10 Signs." The workshop, which is currently available to people with the disease and their families from the more than 70 Alzheimer's Association Chapters nationwide, explores the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's disease with participants. The "Know the 10 Signs" Spanish-language workshop will also be made available to the public at www.alz.org/espanol this fall.
"Alzheimer's disease is not normal aging. It is a complex brain disease that impacts much more than memory," said Janis Robinson, Director of Diversity and Strategic Collaborations at the Alzheimer's Association. "Knowing the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's is critical to early detection and receiving the best care possible, so it is imperative that we are inclusive as this public health crisis explodes across the country, including in our diverse communities."
When speaking about the barriers to seeking further care, the majority of respondents (39 percent) said the person exhibiting warnings signs do not believe they have a problem. Other barriers include concern about reaction by the person exhibiting warning signs and others, preference to not think about it and lack of a cure.
"Alzheimer's affects millions of individuals, and the general public relies upon the Alzheimer's Association as a leading resource for accurate information," said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. "These findings help to heighten the importance of providing the Hispanic community with much-needed information and help raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease."
About the Alzheimer's Association
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading U.S. voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. The Association's vision is a world without Alzheimer's disease.
MetLife Foundation, established in 1976 by MetLife, has been involved in a variety of healthy aging initiatives addressing issues of caregiving, intergenerational activities, mental fitness, health and wellness programs, aging in place initiatives, and civic engagement opportunities. For more than 20 years, the Foundation has supported research on Alzheimer's disease and provided support for a number of caregiver initiatives, including education and outreach activities, caregiver videos, Alzheimer's education and awareness resources, and resources for the Hispanic community. .
(1) The Alzheimer's Association "Hispanic Perceptions of Alzheimer's Disease" survey funded by the MetLife Foundation interviewed 872 Hispanic/Latino males and females ages 25+ via telephone and online Interviews July 26, 2010-August 18, 2010. In reporting results, statistical testing was performed at the 95% confidence level.
(2) The Alzheimer's Association's Facts and Figures report is a comprehensive compilation of national statistics and information on Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. The report conveys the impact of Alzheimer's on individuals, families, government, and the nation's health care system. Since its 2007 inaugural release, the report has become the most cited source covering the broad spectrum of Alzheimer issues. The Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report is an official publication of the Alzheimer's Association®.