Spotlighting Dementia in Latinx Patients

by | Sep 29, 2020 | Alumni Authors, Health

A new textbook co-edited by Yvette Tazeau ’88 is the culmination of a vast amount of work and research into treatments for Latinx dementia patients.

Co-editors Tazeau and Hector Y. Adames gathered contributions from 58 people for Caring for Latinxs with Dementia in a Globalized World: Behavioral and Psychosocial Treatments (Springer, 2020). The book offers a comprehensive look at the current state of dementia care for Latinx patients in the U.S. and across the globe.

“We thought we could make a difference in the literature by providing information to clinicians in all fields,” said Tazeau. “We envisioned bringing in pharmacists, social workers, neurologists, policy analysts. It was probably crazily ambitious in a good sense.”

The idea, she said, was to cover what has succeeded in both treatment and research in multiple countries.

What did she learn from the research? “Three things really stood out the most: One, the depth of the passion of the people who are committed in these disadvantaged populations. They are in it for heart and soul,” said Tazeau. “Two, you can really tell we have a lot of work ahead of us. We didn’t come out of this experience disillusioned. We just felt that it is a challenge, but it can be overcome. And, three, there are folks out there who are doing things that maybe don’t fit the traditional Western European ways of intervention, but they can be equally effective.”

Tazeau’s career path in psychology started at UC Davis. A psychology and Spanish double major, she said she always wanted to study the mind. At UC Davis, she took classes from Charles Tart, now professor emeritus, learning about human potential.

She went on to earn her M.S. and Ph.D. from Palo Alto University, where she first studied aging. After working for an agency in San Jose, she eventually opened her own private practice. She continues to work in geriatric psychology, and also provides clinical neuropsychology assessments and pediatric services.

Her efforts in workplace psychology have inspired another book currently in progress about promoting a culturally diverse workforce.

And a follow-up to Caring for Latinxs with Dementia in a Globalized World is also a possibility.

“We thought this was an opportunity to tell everyone how far we’ve come but also how far we still need to go,” she said. “There’s just so much that we can do.”