September 18, 2017

Professor Karen Fredriksen Goldsen, an internationally recognized expert on aging and health disparities in marginalized communities, has been awarded a five-year, $3.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging.

The research project, Older Adults Living with Alzheimer’s Disease and Their Caregivers: Testing an Evidence-Based Intervention for Underserved Populations, is the first federally funded study to develop and test interventions for sexual and gender minority older adults with Alzheimer’s and related dementias and their caregivers. UW Nursing professor Linda Teri is the project’s co-principal investigator. She brings extensive experience in dementia-related caregiving with such programs as Reducing Disabilities in Alzheimer’s Disease.

This research builds on the success of the NIH-funded project Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging, and Sexuality/Gender Study, the first longitudinal study of health and aging of LGBT midlife and older adults and their caregivers, on which Fredriksen Goldsen is the principal investigator. This year alone, Aging with Pride garnered extensive national and international media coverage, with stories in more than 150 news outlets that reach approximately 5 million readers.

Sexual and/or gender minority older adults are a resilient community; however, they are at risk because they encounter barriers to healthcare access and experience biased treatment in health care settings. Their caregivers play an important protective role but also face distinct challenges, given their heightened risk of social isolation due to the lack of support services for these older adults.