MIAMI, FL – Recent reports show disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease among Hispanic patients nationwide. A leading physician expert on care giving warns that Latinos face gaps in understanding of the disease and barriers to adequate care. Her new Spanish book offers basic, comprehensive education for Latinos facing dementia. “We already know that U.S. Latino caregivers, in particular, constitute a group that under uses dementia-specific care services. This group of caregivers may experience higher rates of physical and psychological distress related to dementia care giving. From research, we also know Latino caregivers are more likely to be younger, poorer, less educated, underemployed, and in significantly worse mental and physical health than their non Latino counterparts.
Zoë A Lewis, M.D., FACP, Diplomat of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, internist, hospice and palliative care physician, author, speaker, Alzheimer’s disease education activist, radio show producer and host of Blogtalk radio’s Hospice Radio, has been working with Alzheimer’s patients and their families for over fifteen years. She contends help is on the way for Latinos facing this disease with her newly released book, claiming comprehensive simple information is what is needed and delivered.
Dr. Lewis cites the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America report, “Investigating Caregivers’ Attitudes and Needs (I CAN 2) Survey”, as her motivation to translate the book into Spanish. “We now know from this study, Latinos show the most prevalent benign family neglect of an elder with dementia, and this is secondary to lack of understanding of the disease. Making matter worse, professional and financial barriers in the healthcare system also hurt Latinos. Poor basic outreach is leaving these people out. My organization, Hope through Knowledge offers community service efforts for aging and end-of-life care. My books are listed resources with the National Alzheimer’s Association. I work along side the Alzheimer’s Association to help educate folks in my local community.
Using freelance Spanish translators and editors from a major Spanish publishing house, “La Guía Holística para la Enfermedad de Alzheimer”, ISBN # 978-1602643765 (soft cover), Virtualbookworm Publishing (2009) $18.95, was produced from the popular English version, “I Hope They Know: The Essential Handbook on Alzheimer’s Care,” ISBN #: 978-1602641778, (2008), from the same publisher. The books cover a multitude of care and care giving issues for both the patient and caregiver facing a dementia diagnosis. Chapters are organized in three sections spanning early diagnosis through death with dignity. Advice focuses care givers on lowering the high emotional and healthcare costs associated with dementia, while providing time-saving solutions for those already stressed out from lack of care planning. Prose style is basic and font size is gentle on the older reader.
The English version, “I Hope They Know”, reached number two in online sales in its category on Amazon.com, and received favorable reviews from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, Gerontological Nursing, Latin and North American Alzheimer’s experts and peers in the fields of music and art therapy. The National Alzheimer’s Association Greenfield Library carries each book.
Dr. Zoë Ann Lewis was a faculty speaker at the 2009 National Council on Aging conference on dementia and hospice care and her work was recognized by the NHPCO 2006 guide, ‘Caring for Persons with Alzheimer’s and other Dementias Guidelines for Hospice Providers’. She is a former Harvard Medical School Clinical Instructor of Medicine among other accomplishments. Her dedicated website, www.zoealewis.com, promotes education using the principle ‘hope through knowledge’.
The books will be on sale at the Miami International Book Fair at the South Florida Writers Association Booth, November 13-15th, 2009.
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Do you know of any free educational seminars in Miami or Broward that I can attend?