Pride in helping others | health news

The Alzheimer’s Association and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced a new partnership aimed at providing information and resources about Alzheimer’s disease to LGBTQ communities in early June.

Working with more than three million HRC members across the country, the association will seek to maximize support for LGBTQ people and their families affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

“What I think this partnership will do is help shine a light on people living in our community who are living with Alzheimer’s because this is not a disease that we talk about in our community,” Jordan Braxton, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Pride STL, he said. “Dementia is widespread in our LGBTQIA community and hopefully the Human Rights Campaign will be able to shine a light on that.”

Braxton had an older brother with Alzheimer’s who passed away before the pandemic.

She is on the human rights committee for Pride STL where she brings more diversity to the Human Rights Campaign. She has participated in fundraising events with the Association in the past, including creating an event called “Don’t Be a Chicken to Fight Alzheimer’s.”

“In the queer community and volunteering for the Alzheimer’s Association, I was hesitant because I didn’t know how I would be accepted. I don’t think people within our community realize how much this affects them,” Braxton said.

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“Once I got involved, I saw how receptive, welcoming and safe the Alzheimer’s community was, and I opened up and talked about my experience. People told me that no matter what your sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression is, Alzheimer’s affects us all, so we have to support each other.”

Currently, there are more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease. More than 7% of LGBTQ people are living with dementia.

“I feel that working with the Human Rights Campaign that they care and open doors of resources for people with Alzheimer’s; sometimes we can’t go to the centers because of our sexual orientation or our gender identity or gender expression because some nursing homes and assisted living facilities don’t accept us,” Braxton said. “Hopefully, the HRC will work to start opening those doors to provide needed care.”

LGBTQ people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias face unique challenges related to the disease, including smaller support networks, lower rates of access to care, and greater health disparities, many of which are risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. dementia, including depression, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

“The ongoing conversations and debates about health equity and health disparities allow diversity and inclusion to strengthen our innovative capacity,” said Carl V. Hill, director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Association of Alzheimer’s. “When we actively seek out diverse perspectives, we unlock the full potential of our partnership, and that is what we hope to achieve in the Alzheimer’s Association with HRC and other partners representing diverse communities.”

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The Alzheimer’s Association joined the HRC and other LGBTQ community leaders in a virtual forum “ALZPride: Voices of the LGBTQ Community” on June 2 that addressed current barriers to ensuring LGBTQ people have access to care, support and resources for dementia.

“HRC looks forward to working with the Alzheimer’s Association to increase access to care and support for LGBTQ+ people affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias,” said Dan Stewart, associate director of the Human Rights Campaign.

“As a gerontologist and trans person, I have seen the unique challenges LGBTQ+ people face in accessing dementia care and services. This partnership can make great strides in advocating for and addressing the needs of our community that are too often overlooked.”