AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 28, Number 4, 2019


Diagnosing and Treating Alzheimer’s, Dementia at Home Could Be Key for Rural, Low-Income Populations

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Rural, older Floridians encounter a multitude of factors that put them at higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) such as limited education, decreased health literacy, low income, increased heart disease, lack of insurance and limited access to health care. Minorities face an additional risk – African Americans are nearly twice as likely and Hispanics are 1.8 times more likely than Whites to develop AD. These disparities are especially prevalent in the culturally diverse, rural community of Belle Glade located in south central Florida in Palm Beach County, which has a higher percentage of residents over the age 65 (26.5 percent compared with the national average of 18 percent). More than one-third of the residents live below the poverty level. Belle Glade is designated as a Medically Underserved Area and a Health Professional Shortage Area for primary and specialty care.

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