Race Affects Caregiver Caring, Grieving

HONOLULU, July 26 (UPI) — A U.S. researcher says race or ethnicity may affect how best to help Alzheimer’s patients’ caregivers as they care or grieve for a relative.

James McNally of University of Michigan Institute finds whites and Hispanics are three to five times more likely than blacks to feel emotional relief at the death of the Alzheimer’s sufferer, and suggests this fits with existing research indicating blacks have more stressors in their lives than other groups.

“Blacks are not getting a break,” McNally says in a statement.

McNally found Hispanic caregivers half as likely as blacks to report feelings of anger toward the deceased, which he says, points to the tight support network often found in Hispanic families.

“If you’re thinking about support services, you want to come at it in different ways,” McNally says in a statement. “For example, blacks may need to address the ongoing other stressors in their lives, but Hispanics could need to focus on separation issues with the deceased.”

McNally examined data for more than 600 black, white, and Hispanic caregiver enrolled in the Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health project led by Richard Schulz of the University of Pittsburgh.

McNally presented his findings at the Alzheimer’s Association’s International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease in Honolulu.

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