Better Brain Health Through Equity

Report Cover - Better Brain Health through Equity

If you care about brain health and social justice, you know that glaring inequities continue to harm communities of color. We need solutions. Now. That’s why I’m thrilled our new report: “Better Brain Health Through Equity” lays out specific policies that, if enacted, will develop more equitable outcomes.  AARP is a co-sponsor of the Milken Institute’s Alliance to Improve Dementia Care.

Our report lays out specific, practical ways to build equity for brain health in racially and ethnically diverse communities. Among the highlights, we need to:

  1. Strengthen the infrastructure among health-care, long-term care, and community-based organizations. Better community outreach and engagement based on trust, more transparency in research and greater coordination among providers are all needed.  We must implement collaborative care models shown to improve care and reduce costs in Medicare; these are pilots which rely on and support the use of nurses, community health, and long-term care workers.
  2. Expand dementia-friendly networks and workplaces in diverse communities. This is crucial because individuals and caregivers of color are more likely than Whites to live with dementia, isolated and lacking institutional supports. Supporting home and community based services and family caregivers for people living with dementia, such as expanding paid family and medical leave would do much to build the equity we need.

By the end of this decade, Latinos and African Americans are predicted to make up 40 percent of U.S. families living with dementia. This trend is neither just or sustainable, but it is reversible. Inequities in prevention, detection and diagnosis of brain-health issues call out for solutions we have the power to change. 

Read the full report: Better Brain Health through Equity: Addressing Health and Economic Disparities in Dementia for African Americans and Latinos (Rajiv Ahuja, Associate Director, Center for the Future of Aging & Cara Levy, Senior Associate, Center for the Future of Aging)

Search AARP Blogs

Related Posts
January 29, 2018 12:35 PM
As the executive director of the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH), I am always on the lookout for brain-healthy foods. I scan grocery aisles for chocolate bars with more than 70 percent cocoa, feel that I’m stimulating my brain when I down my morning coffee and even feel virtuous when drinking…
January 23, 2018 11:11 AM
In April 2015, the Institute of Medicine released a groundbreaking report on what older Americans can do to keep their brains healthy. The report said that obesity was likely to increase the risk of cognitive decline. The same month, a major study in the British medical journal Lancet found that…
October 27, 2015 09:10 AM
En español | An  AARP survey on brain health has found a significant gap between what people believe is good for their brains and what they actually do to preserve their cognitive function. The survey, of more than 1,500 adults over age 40, found that although 98 percent said maintaining and…