On Tuesday, ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA) ran a story that followed a young black woman named Lindsey Jordan, who’s been taking care of her father ever since she could remember–her father was diagnosed with alzheimers when she was eight. It’s a story about disease and its burdens, yes, but it’s also a story about the love and sacrifice that makes family, and community, possible.
Lindsey and her mother are two of the estimated 6.7 million women providing care for a friend or relative with Alzheimer’s, and who have higher chances of battling with depression, illness and being hospitalized than other women the same age.
“Taking care of elderly family members is still seen as women’s work,” Mary Guerriero Austrom, professor of Alzheimer’s Education at the Indiana University told ABC News. According to GMA, there are almost 11 million unpaid family members taking care of loved ones, and the majority are woman.
And black woman like Jordan are disproportionately affected. The Alzheimer’s Association found Alzheimer’s disease is more prevalent among African Americans than whites–with estimates ranging from 14 percent to almost 100 percent higher. (It’s also important to note that Alzheimer’s disease is underreported in black communities and diagnosis often occurs at a much later stage of the disease.)
Lindsey Jordan’s moving story is one small window into the care taking so many of our families provide. At around 4:10, she sings Nat King Cole to her dad, beautifully. It’s today’s love.
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