NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Juliana Cardenas is a wife and confidante. Her husband's happiness is paramount. And when his hands are cold, she is the one who warms them up. When Juliana married Gustavo 53 years ago, they loved to dance to salsa and merengue and later spend time with the grandkids. Things changed 6 years ago when Gustavo was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. She went from dance partner to caretaker.
But Juliana receives services from the Alzheimer's Caregivers Support Initiative, also known as Care NYC. Sunnyside Community Services gets $1.5 million annually from the state as part of the program. The group works in all five boroughs, helping to supplement the care loved ones like Juliana give. Sunnyside provides a variety of services from support groups and in some cases home care.
Blacks and Hispanics are twice as likely as older white adults to develop a form of dementia, according to research by the Alzheimer's Association. And in many cases there are also cultural differences that compound these challenges.
I met with Dr. Ricardo Osorio at NYU's Center for Cognitive Neurology to better understand the prevalence of dementia in black and Hispanic communities. Most answers point towards environment.
Julia appreciates the help at home, but she has come to depend on the support groups. The dancing days are gone but love still lives in this home.