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Improving Access to Caregiver Training in the Latino Community

According to a recent report, Latinos and Alzheimer's Disease: New Numbers Behind the Crisis, "The number of Latinos with Alzheimer's Disease is expected to increase more than nine fold from 379,000 in 2012 to 1.1 million by 2030 and to 3.5 million by 2060—a growth of 832 percent." The Latino community is traditionally under resourced in terms of income, retirement benefits and healthcare access. This challenge is compounded when taking into account cultural and language barriers. As a result, the report concludes that the Latino community is more likely to rely on unpaid caregivers for their elder care needs. Unpaid caregivers are typically made up of family, friends and neighbors.

The report identifies seven recommendations to combat the impending Alzheimer's crisis. Two of the seven recommendations focus on family caregiver engagement and education. See the two applicable recommendations below:

  • Government, community, philanthropic, health, and industry partners should collaborate on the development and rollout of culturally tailored community engagement and education efforts to promote AD health literacy and early detection among individuals, families, and community stakeholders.

  • With an estimated 1.8 million Latino family caregivers caring for someone with AD and other dementias, it is critical to improve access to AD caregiving resources and training for informal caregivers in multiple languages. These efforts should include national, regional, and state-based coordination.

This reports primary focus is on Latinos specifically impacted by Alzheimer's disease but we know that the aging trends observed throughout the United States will also impact the Latino community. As the number of family caregivers continue to grow along with their care responsibilities it is clear that the need for educational resources has never been greater.

We have mentioned in previous posts that our goal is to increase family caregiver access to education and training. We firmly believe if we can better prepare family caregivers we can improve outcomes for both caregivers and patients. In our continued effort to reach that goal we are excited to announce the translation of all curriculum and support materials into Spanish and the hiring of a bilingual instructor, Kim Belshaw, LVN. These changes will allow us to continue to expand our services and support the families that need educational resources the most. Through partnerships with incredible community organizations including Connectability, ALS Association and Area Agency on Aging we are able to offer our education and training at no cost to families.

Increasing access to caregiver education training and resources will continue to be a core mission for our organization. We strongly feel that the current healthcare infrastructure does not fully account for the impact family caregivers can have on outcomes, both positive and negative. Our hope is that awareness will continue to grow and additional resources will be directed towards family caregivers.


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