Study: Hispanic women wait longer to put relatives in nursing home

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Hispanic women who care for older relatives with dementia wait longer than white caregivers to place their relatives in nursing homes, especially when they are less acclimated to U.S. society, according to a report in the July issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Dr. Dolores Gallagher-Thompson at Stanford University School of Medicine and VA Palo Alto Health Care System in California studied for eighteen months 264 women --154 Caucasian and 110 Latinas -- who were caring for a loved one with dementia. More than two-thirds of the Hispanic women were Mexican American.

Participants were interviewed about their attitudes toward caregiving and their acculturation into the larger U.S. society.

Gallagher-Thompson found that non-Hispanic white caregivers placed their relatives with dementia in an institution sooner than Hispanic women.