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    L.A. Walker: Championing LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Dementia Care

    By Jason D. Flatt, PhD, MPH–

    I first encountered the artist and now a trusted friend, L.A. Walker, at an LGBTQ+ business meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our connection was instantaneous, fueled by a shared passion for supporting LGBTQ+ community members grappling with dementia. L.A.’s story is not just one of personal triumph, but a testament to resilience, empathy, and unwavering dedication to fostering inclusion, promoting community connection, and supporting those who care for and are impacted by dementia.

    The journey of Adlaidie Walker, affectionately known as L.A., is marked by service, creativity, and advocacy. A veteran of the Army and a graduate of the U.S. Defense Information School, L.A. transitioned from her role as a radio and television anchor with the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) to become the News Director of Baltimore’s WBGR (now WFSI) radio. Her life’s path led her from the bustling streets of Chicago to the vibrant community of Las Vegas, where she has resided for over two decades.

    Adlaidie “L.A.” Walker (right) with wife Terry
    Photo Courtesy of Jason D. Flatt

    Beyond her illustrious career in media, L.A. is a prolific playwright and author, using her creative talents to spark conversations about social issues and promote community connection. Her theatrical productions, such as Ten Minutes of Truth on Racism and The MAM Show, delved deep into the complexities of our society, challenging stereotypes and inspiring dialogue. In No Labels she tells a story about a homophobic dog who gets adopted by a gay couple and freaks out. L.A. wrote a song in No Labels, “I’m a Man Who Loves a Man,” sung and performed by country artist Chase Brown. Her latest project, The Wonderful World of Was, sheds light on the journey of dementia caregivers in a poignant and humorous narrative with music and involving actors impacted by dementia. A clip from this work is at YouTube:

    The Wonderful World of Was was inspired by her personal experiences with caregiving for her wife of 30 years, Terry, who battled Lewy body dementia. L.A. has become a beacon of hope and support for those navigating similar challenges. Through workshops, podcasts, and her role as Co-Executive Director of Social Issues Theatre, L.A. provides vital resources and platforms for individuals to share their stories and connect with others in the community.

    Another one of L.A.’s notable contributions is her 7-part podcast series, Dementia Caregiving: The Land of I Don’t Know

    (, which offers invaluable insights and support for caregivers in need of respite and self-care. In a society where caregiving can often be isolating and overwhelming, L.A.’s podcast serves as an important resource, reminding dementia caregivers of the importance of prioritizing their own health and well-being.

    In addition to her artistic and advocacy endeavors, L.A. is an incredible advocate for LGBTQ+ inclusion in dementia research. As a member of the Community Advisory Board for the RISE Registry, L.A. works tirelessly to ensure that LGBTQ+ individuals with dementia and their caregivers are represented in clinical research and learn about community resources. By bridging the gap between the LGBTQ+ community and research initiatives, L.A. is helping us to pave the way for more inclusive and effective treatments for dementia and programs and services for caregivers.

    To learn more about how you can support LGBTQ+ inclusion in dementia research and care, visit

    Together, let us honor L.A.’s legacy of compassion and advocacy as we strive to create a more inclusive and supportive world for all communities impacted by dementia.

    Jason D. Flatt, PhD, MPH (Pronouns: He/Him/They/Them) is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, School of Public Health, Department of Social and Behavioral Health. His $5+ million-funded National Institutes of Health research portfolio works to better understand health concerns and needs of diverse sexual and gender minorities living with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, their caregivers, and their care providers. Flatt co-leads the first federally funded research registry, the RISE Registry, which is promoting research inclusion and additional opportunities for LGBTQIA+ people living with dementia and/or memory loss and their care partners.

    Aging in Community
    Published on April 4, 2024