Rafael Samper-Ternent, MD, PhD 2019-2020 Texas RCMAR Scholar
Visit Dr. Samper-Ternent's web bio at the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Geriatrics.
Improving healthcare of older adults with ADRD: caregiver-patient dyads in the US and Mexico
Mentors: Rebeca Wong, PhD and Abbey Berenson, MD, PhD
Older adults from minority groups in the United States are more severely affected by Alzheimer’s Disease and
Related Dementias (ADRD) compared to Non-Hispanic whites. Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Blacks have more risk
factors leading to ADRD including lower education, high incidence of vascular disease and genetic susceptibility. Older adults from minority groups are also diagnosed later in the course of ADRD and have more behavioral
alterations than whites. Finally, older adults from minority groups receive less heath care and the care they
receive is usually not designed based on their cultural differences. In addition to these factors that place older adults from minority populations at a disadvantageous position, the topic of caregiving has also raised
concern. Compared to Non-Hispanic Whites, minority caregivers provide more care, report worse physical health
and report higher rates of depression and stress. There is a large gap in the literature regarding the
differences between these dyads by race/ethnicity. It is clear, however, that the disparities discussed above result
in higher rates of functional impairment, faster decline in cognitive function and lower overall quality of life. Caring
for a person with ADRD therefore requires tending for a caregiver-patient dyad. Interventions seeking to improve
care for persons with ADRD must focus on this dyad.