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2010 Shriver Report

Alzheimer’s and Latinas

A new report examines the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on women — as victims and caregivers.

En español | When Francisca Terrazas was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2007, her family never considered placing her in a nursing home.

“I sometimes wish there were a different way to care for her,” wrote daughter Beatriz in an essay penned for the October 2010 Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s, “one that doesn’t cost me work time and wages to be with her, one that doesn’t involve laying my own wants aside for her needs. Then the Mexican in me says, ‘Remember where you come from. She’s your mother, an elder. Familia is about stepping up to the plate. Now just go do it!’ ” This tight-knit family viewed taking care of their mother as a cultural imperative.

They’re not alone. Hispanic families across the country are grappling with the issue of Alzheimer’s and what to do as caregivers for loved ones with the debilitating disease.
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