Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



Study focuses on caregivers of LGBTs with Alzheimer's
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

This article shared 3172 times since Tue Dec 17, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Taking care of and participating in research focused on patients with Alzheimer's disease ( a form of dementia ) has been a part of Indiana University ( IU ) Center for Aging Research at Regenstrief Institute Research Scientist and IU School of Medicine Associate Professor of Medicine's Dr. Alexia Torke's life since her undergraduate years at Minnesota's Carleton College.

"As an undergraduate, I helped with research on persons with dementia in the nursing home, "said Torke. "When I came back to my hometown of Indianapolis after college, I got a job as a research assistant and worked on a study about the cognitive changes of dementia."

Now Torke—who specialized in internal medicine during her residency at Emory University and currently practices the new field of outpatient palliative care at IU Health Methodist Hospital—is taking her interest in the well-being of patients with Alzheimer's a step further with a new grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant money will be used to study how LGBT older adults with Alzheimer's caregivers ( surrogate decision-makers ) are coping with this responsibility.

"Throughout my 15 year research career, I have been drawn to the really hard situations where family members and clinicians have to make decisions for someone who cannot make them by themselves," said Torke. "That is hard in any case but when the patient or caregiver is part of the LGBT community there are other challenges that include prior bad experiences with the healthcare system including overt and covert discrimination that has led to a lack of trust in these institutions.

"LGBT people with dementia are less likely to have a caregiver spouse or adult children and have to rely on a chosen family member to make these decisions. As a lesbian, I think it is really important to focus on the special needs and vulnerabilities LGBT older adults with Alzheimer's and their caregivers face as they interact with the healthcare system."

The main thing that has deepened Torke's understanding of the challenges LGBT patients face, including the lack of knowledge or prejudice from some clinicians, is her own experience in seeking healthcare for herself, her spouse Martha Egger and their two teenaged sons.

Torke said the grant covers doing interviews in two locations: Indianapolis and Denver. She is collaborating with University of Colorado School of Medicine General Internal Medicine Division Assistant Professor Carey Candrian, Ph.D., to conduct the caregiver surveys in Denver while she will be doing them in Indianapolis. Candrian is an ethnographer and her graduate training focused on interaction as a site of inequality due to the way people talk to each other and whether they reveal their true selves to others.

Candrian said she, like Torke, has been interested in improving health equity and reducing disparities among LGBT older adults for years. This includes creating a volunteer program for advance care planning focused on the LGBT community in Denver.

"We are using a combination of methods, including working closely with local LGBT advocacy groups, support groups and clinicians in our clinics in Colorado caring for older LGBT adults to choose our interview participants," said Candrian.

In terms of the questions they will be asking, Candrian said, "The interview guide is divided into different domains around their caregiver experience, information received and how emotional support, their role as a surrogate decision maker and their engagement with advance care planning. The majority of them are open-ended to really give people the opportunity to share their experience.

"Ultimately, we hope to improve this surrogate decision-making process for people caring for older LGBT adults with Alzheimer's or related dementias from the people actually involved in this process. We want their voices and experiences to guide us all into improving the overall care experience for LGBT people."

Candrian said there is almost no literature on surrogate experience in the LGBT community and that is why the project is so important to her. The icing on the cake for Candrian is being mentored by Torke through this process because of their shared interest in the topic combined with both Torke's clinical and her non-clinical approach to this study.

Torke told Windy City Times that the findings will be published in scientific journals and be made available in layman's terms on the web so caregivers can access this resource as they navigate the healthcare system going forward.

"I want every LGBT person to think about who you want to make healthcare and financial decisions for yourself if you are unable to do so down the line no matter your family circumstances and get the legal documents in order for that to happen," Torke said.

This article shared 3172 times since Tue Dec 17, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

'When Black queer people win, everybody wins': Foundation releases report to improve equity at community orgs 2023-11-28
- In November, Lighthouse Foundation released its 2023 update on its research project, the Black Queer Equity Index, providing a guide that non-profit leaders can use to improve the experiences of marginalized employees and clients. Since 2020, ...

Gay News

Scotland announces five-year plan to help nonbinary people 2023-11-20
- Scotland's government has announced a five-year action plan to improve the lives of non-binary people, Yahoo! News reported. Among other things, the first-of-its-kind plan in the UK (and, quite possibly, in the world) includes actions to ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Bishop removed, business news, Jezebel shutting down, MAP head 2023-11-17
- Pope Francis removed the bishop of Tyler, Texas—a conservative prelate active on social media who has been a fierce critic of the pontiff, PBS reported. A one-line statement from the Vatican said the pope had "relieved" ...

Gay News

Howard Brown Health Workers United members gather for post-strike rally 2023-11-16
- Howard Brown Health (HBH) Workers United members held an evening post-Unfair Labor Practices (ULP) strike rally Nov. 15 in front of the new multi-story HBH Halsted clinic. It was the conclusion of their two-day strike that ...

Gay News

Eye-opening LGBTQ+ women's survey shatters myths and spotlights challenges 2023-11-15
- The realities, ambitions and hardships of queer women aren't often given deep analysis by researchers. Mainstream socio-political conversations, research data and legislative choices frequently center individuals whose lives are marked ...

Gay News

Mayor Johnson names new CPDH commissioner 2023-11-13
- Mayor Brandon Johnson announced the appointment of esteemed public health leader Dr. Olusimbo "Simbo" Ige, MD, MS, MPH to serve as commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH). The announcement took place days after ...

Gay News

IDHS head Dulce Quintero reflects on making history, being an advocate 2023-11-13
- Dulce Quintero has always believed in helping people—and decades of doing so has resulted in an especially noteworthy achievement. Recently, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker appointed Quintero, a member of the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame, as ...

Gay News

UN committee criticizes United States' LGBTQ+ record 2023-11-11
- Reviewing the United States' record on civil and political rights, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC) condemned the country's record on LGBTQ+ rights, according to Human Rights Watch. In 1992, the United States ratified the ...

Gay News

Former CDPH head accepts position with the CDC 2023-11-10
- Former Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) commissioner Dr. Alison Arwady is now with The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, according to Axios. The CDC announced on Nov. 9 that Arwady will ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Election results, campus items, Puerto Rican icons, healthcare suit 2023-11-10
- Historic developments took place during the Nov. 7 elections that happened in some states. LGBTQ+ Victory Fund candidate Rue Landau won an at-large seat on the Philadelphia City Council—making her the first out LGBTQ+ candidate to ...

Gay News

Three states sue to block abortion-pill sales 2023-11-07
- On Nov. 6, three states—Idaho, Kansas and Missouri—sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of Health and Senior Services for approving the abortion pill mifepristone and allowing its ...

Gay News

Berlin Nightclub workers urge customers to boycott as they fight for fair contract 2023-10-31
- Berlin Nightclub workers are calling for people to boycott the LGBTQ+ club while they push for their first contract, which they hope will include increased wages and access to healthcare. Berlin Nightclub workers unionized in April ...

Gay News

WORLD Spirit Day, pope's meeting, conversion therapy, 'Elite' actor, tourism 2023-10-27
- Spirit Day—an annual observance celebrated every third Thursday of October that is dedicated to taking a stand against bullying and showing support for the LGBTQ+ youth—was marked globally, GLAAD noted. ...

Gay News

Former 'Bachelorette' contestant Josh Seiter talks bisexuality, mental health 2023-10-23
- t's safe to say that 2023 is probably one of the most pivotal years in Josh Seiter's life. During the summer, Seiter—a former Bachelorette contestant who's also a Chicago resident, Chicago-Kent College of Law grad, mental-health ...

Gay News

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois faces LGBTQ+ fertility lawsuit 2023-10-23
- The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently ruled that Illinois resident Kelsey Murphy can proceed with a proposed class-action lawsuit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL), Bloomberg Law reported. The ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.