African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans are 1.5 to 2 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias as Caucasians, but are less likely to seek services and a diagnosis. Latinos are also the fastest growing population in the United States. This means that during the first half of the 21st century, the number of Latino elders with Alzheimer’s and related dementias could increase more than six-fold equaling as many as 1.3 million by 2050. At the UW, we are not only committed to finding a cure for AD through our research efforts, but we have also established significant programs throughout Wisconsin designed to engage communities of color and underrepresented groups. These programs focus on providing culturally tailored community outreach, professional education, advocacy, service, and research. This model empowers these traditionally underserved groups to actively participate in providing culturally specific healthcare services for its aging populations affected by AD, dementia, and other health disparities.
The UW is looking to identify $7 million to enhance our minority based programs. These funds will be used in the following ways: