Racial disparity in healthcare

In February, the United States celebrates Black History Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of African Americans. We can honor many who have made significant contributions to medicine, arts, business, civil rights, education, religion and more. It is a good time to shine a light on racial disparity in healthcare.

Healthcare and Race

Hurley Elder Care Law is always interested in the physical, mental, financial, and legal health of all of our clients. Last year we examined some data on race, age and healthcare and wrote a blog to build awareness for our clients and friends. We also noted the importance of learning to advocate for one’s healthcare.

Dementia care reflects the same troubling trends. The Alzheimer’s Association 2023 Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures report noted that discrimination is a barrier to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Evidence in the report states ‘missed or delayed diagnoses of Alzheimer’s and other dementias are more common among Black and Hispanic older adults than among White older adults.’

A 2021 Alzheimer’s Association study showed more than one-third of Black Americans (36%), and nearly one-fifth of Hispanic Americans (18%) and Asian Americans (19%), believes discrimination would be a barrier to receiving Alzheimer’s care. Additionally, half or more of non-White caregivers say they have experienced discrimination when navigating health care settings for their care recipient.

Some of this racial disparity is now being recognized. “We must continue to accelerate efforts to engage more people from underrepresented populations in Alzheimer’s disease research and clinical trials,” said Maria Carrillo, Ph.D., chief science officer, Alzheimer’s Association.

The importance of advocacy

During this month, along with reminding you of the value of advocating for yourself and loved ones with your healthcare providers, we are taking the opportunity to discuss how crucial it is for you to also share your wishes with your loved ones. These conversations can be difficult, but it helps make it clear to your family what you want in case of incapacity or death. Armed with this information, your family can initiate discussions regarding your health. A common situation we hear from families is described in this story. Don’t let this happen to you!

In addition to your happy celebrations during Black History Month, Hurley Elder Care Law hopes you take time to prioritize estate planning. Through tailored strategies, individuals can safeguard their assets, protect their legacies, and empower future generations.

Hurley Elder Care Law has four convenient locations near you in Atlanta, Duluth, Peachtree City and Woodstock. Please call our main phone number at 404-843-0121 to discuss your personal needs. We are always happy to help!

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