Be sure to follow our Facebook page for campaigns and resources we invite you to borrow for your own social media and newsletters-- and please share within your circle to help us spread the word.
Staff from the IA2 team virtually attended the Title VI Webinar featuring Sonya Begay’s Ted Talk entitled, “Shima' Sani' - Why Are You So Sick?” about the health effects of uranium contamination. Sonya is a member of the Navajo Nation (Dine’) and is currently working as a Management and Program Analyst at the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. You can check out her TedTalk by clicking here.
Check us out on Twitter for future campaigns and social media messages we invite you to borrow and re-use.
IA2 continues to offerprint-on-demand stipends of $250 for flyers and posters from the IA2, ASTHO, and National Council for Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) suite of materials developed with funding from the CDC.
Click hereto read our Resource Center updates, learn about our upcoming events, and what we've been doing to help American Indian and Alaska Native communities address brain health, Alzheimer's, and dementia.
Community Voices Blog: Embrace Cultural Healing to Create Healthy Communities
Written by April Shaw, Senior Staff Attorney, Network for Public Health Law - Northern Region Office
People that work in public health work to promote healthy individuals and communities. Only recently have people began to understand that racial equity is needed to build healthy communities. One definition of equity is “the quality of being fair and impartial.”
Racial equity then can mean removing unfair and biased practices that have made people of color worse-off compared to White people. For example, cultural healing practices valued by Indigenous and other non-mainstream cultures are often seen as inferior to traditional White Western ideas on healing. The result is that diverse cultural healing practices are not available to people seeking them when they get health care services. So, the quality of healthcare services offered is not fair and impartial towards many people of color.
Racial equity calls for more than just fairness and impartiality. It also calls honoring different cultural practices, like cultural healing, and treating those practices as valuable.
Cultural healing has received too little attention in conversations about how to achieve racial justice and health equity. There is not one definition of cultural healing. But the term has been used to mean the need to include historically rooted cultural healing practices of non-Western and underrepresented cultures within traditional mainstream Western institutions (such as in hospitals, clinics, education, and research). To be clear, cultural healing is not about simply adding cultural practices in. Healing practices in the U.S. are culturally biased towards mainstream cultural practices. These cultural biases are often only seen by people who do not share the same beliefs, which tend to be underrepresented communities of color. Part of the harm that this creates is that the under-valuing and exclusion of different cultural views and practices is often invisible to those working in health care settings and others.
What does cultural healing look like in practice?
Click the button below to read the full blog post by April Shaw as she explains what cultural healing looks like in practice.
I had the great honor of being very close to my grandparents and great-grandparents as a child. Working in the garden, cooking, fishing, or even providing emotional support while Grandpa worked on his truck are some of the activities I enjoyed while being with my grandparents. When one of my grandfathers became ill, and it led to a state of dementia, I wanted to be there at his bedside. I tried to stand as his advocate and honor him the best I could.
I guess you could say the experience I had with my grandfather’s death and my connection with my elders is what drew me to working in the field of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD). I previously worked to support family caregivers at Boise State University’s Center for the Study of Aging when my current position was created. I knew I needed to become the Program Manager for the state’s new ADRD Public Health Program. This was an opportunity to continue my work supporting caregivers while also serving others like my grandfather.
My interest in serving on the National Brain Health Advisory Group was guided by the belief that we do
not know everything, and as we develop our statewide ADRD Program, we need to place ourselves in
positions of learning. I hope to gain relationships, an understanding of how I can become more culturally
competent, and how our ADRD Program can best serve all of those who live within the boundaries of
10 Signs of Thinking or Memory Changes that Might be Dementia - 6 Design Options to Choose From
Designed by and for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities!
Access high resolution 1) Adobe pdf, 2) .jpg, 3) .png and 4) original design files for use in your community.
Looking for a different customized picture for your community? For a limited time contact us to request an image swap.
We have $250 printing stipends for tribes and urban Indian organizations and can ship flyers directly to your community.
Contact us for design help or info on printing stipends at email@example.com.
Special thanks to our Brain Health Advisory Group for time and input in to this document.
Make Your Tribal Voices Heard!
Healthy Brain Initiative Road Map Series Accepting Comments
The Alzheimer’s Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have begun developing the fourth edition of the Healthy Brain Initiative (HBI) Road Map for State and Local Public Health, the core document of the HBI Road Map Series. This new edition will be an expert guidebook for state and local public health practitioners to advance the vision of the HBI: to fully integrate cognitive health and caregiving into public health practice.
State and local public health agencies, as well as other interested organizations and individuals, are invited to provide input until August 15 on the Road Map’s proposed content, to enhance its relevance and usefulness. This input will be analyzed and presented to the Leadership Committee for consideration as they prepare their final recommendations for the updated Road Map.
Promising Practice: How do you start a new initiative in tribal communities?
The Northwest Portland Indian Health Board's (NPAIHB) Chandra Wilson is the program manager of the BOLD (Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act) core capacity grant. Chandra explains that to succeed in this role, "It begins with a lot of listening. As a Klamath Modoc Yahooskin woman trained as a social worker, I come by this part of the work quite naturally."
Northwest Portland Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) is a non-profit tribal advisory organization comprised of tribal delegates from forty-three federally recognized tribes across Oregon, Idaho, and Washington state, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. NPAIHB provides technical assistance and training to its tribes, supports policy, surveillance, research, and health promotion and disease prevention efforts, and is "a natural home for a program focusing attention on elder care, dementia, and related caregiving," according to Wilson. The Board also has deep experience in convening tribal advisors and committee of elders to guide our work, essential in engaging this issue in our tribal communities."
COVID-19-related work created barriers and delays for many organizations. NPAIHB has remained focused on educating workers and tribal staff about the difference between normal aging and dementia while using tools like the discussion guide in the Road Map for Indian Country. Chandra is piloting community assessments in the Board's member tribes in the three states and learning more about the situation on the ground. Washington State also has a robust state Alzheimer's plan.
Consistent with the action items in the Road Map for Indian Country, NPAIHB is developing information and tools to help older adults understand and anticipate dementia challenges. First, by gathering what is currently being used by tribal programs like aging services (Title VI) and health authorities and looking at collections of materials such as those found on the IA² website. "We continue reaching out to potential partners like the Native American Rehabilitation Association, the Portland Area Urban Indian Clinic, Veterans health organizations, and other clinics who may provide services to tribal elders and older adults."
Chandra offered, "As you can imagine, there are many differences in traditions, language, even favorite foods across all the tribes we work with. I see our key work as not speaking for seniors and families but taking the time to listen, to create a space for their voices in our work, to honor the fact that all have passions and purpose and that we walk in the footsteps of our ancestors. This is a classic public health approach."
Safeguarding the Health of Our Elders: Urban Indian Health Institute Resource
A Division of the Seattle Indian Health Board
This first-of-its-kind Elders Community Health Profile, Safeguarding the Health of Our Elders, reports on the health strengths and areas of needed improvement in the urban American Indian and Alaska Native Elder population (individuals 55 years and older) in the United States from 2012–2017.
The report also discusses risk factors and chronic diseases with known connections to Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD).
NEW Report -
Tribal Law & Policy: Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias
The International Association for Indigenous Aging and Splaine Consulting have created a new policy report for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations. This report explores existing tribal laws and policies related Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia for Native communities.
As sovereign nations, tribes are uniquely situated to use law as a public health tool to promote the health and well-being of their communities. Additionally, federal law creates a framework that governs the relationships among tribes, states, and the federal government that can affect tribal public health. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017)
From the beginning of persons organizing action on dementia and caregiving issues in the early 1980s, working in and through government as one means of dealing with the myriad problems related to the societal burden and trajectory has been a means to an end of better lives for persons living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD). This brief examines how federal and tribal law and state policy actions currently address these issues.
Law, regulation, and policy are all understood to be essential public health services as tools to promote equity and improve public health. Mensah et al. (2004) provided an early framework for providing public health services, explicitly citing law as a tool for preventing chronic disease. Consensus chronic disease success stories cited by experts are rooted in legal changes—such as tobacco control, vaccine policy, and seat belt use (CDC, 2014).
Against this backdrop, it is not surprising that Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) and dementia caregiving issues are commonly addressed through law and policy in mainstream communities.
Banner Alzheimer's Institute Releases New "Walk with Me" CD for People Living with Dementia & Announces Plans for Fall Conference
The Native American Outreach Program at Banner Alzheimer’s Institute recently released a CD with a compilation of music from various Native American artists. This project is in collaboration with Canyon Records and Sunshine Music Therapy, to help people in tribal communities who are living with some form of memory loss.
Music has been shown to be a powerful tool when it comes to helping dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Studies indicate music may help improve behavioral issues and can provide a way for patients to connect with others when they’re not able to verbally communicate.
Entitled “Walk with Me,” the CD launched by Banner Alzheimer’s Institute will be distributed in tribal communities where dementia and Alzheimer’s outreach can be challenging. Those involved in the project hope this music will help increase the quality of life for both the memory loss patient and their caregiver.
For more information on how to obtain this CD, please contact BAIFCS@bannerhealth.com. For more information on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, including strategies for caregivers, please visit www.BannerAlz.org.
Annual Public Conference - Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia in Native Americans
Pre-Conference Intensive | Alzheimer's Disease: Keeping it Simple
10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19 Description
Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias can be complicated conditions to understand and care for. Let’s keep it simple! This Preconference is designed to arm professionals with basic communication techniques and understanding that you can take back to your community. Learn simple strategies to manage communication, behavior changes and activities of daily living at this half day companion to our annual education conference. Cost
$25 per person Registration Online or call (602) 230-2273
16th Annual Conference | Walk with Me
8:30 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20 Description
As people develop memory loss from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, it can be difficult to know how to connect, interact and motivate your person with dementia. What if you had a tool that could had the ability to remind, connect, soothe, motivate, distract and move people living with memory loss? Join us as we explore how to use music as a way to increase quality of life for both the person living with memory loss and those who care about them. This full-day conference is designed to incorporate relevant research around the disease as well as strategies for a new normal and maintaining balance while caring for another. Cost
$25 per person Registration Online or call (602) 230-2273
Checklist: Next steps after an Alzheimer's diagnosis
Receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease can be difficult. However, having information that is accurate and a strong support system can help with what to expect and what to do as the disease progresses.
The National Institute on Aging continues to share helpful information on dementia research, living with dementia, clinical trials, and research. These resources provide information for both caregivers and those living with dementia or dementia-like symptoms.
Dementia Friends for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities in July
American Indian and Alaska Native people living with dementia need to be understood and supported in their communities.
You can help by becoming a Dementia Friend in your community! Learn about the 6 key messages about dementia in Dementia Friends for American Indian & Alaska Native Communities session.
We continue virtual pilots of Dementia Friends for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities information session and Dementia Friends Champions training. In May, we unveiled a new PowerPoint presentation to accompany learning modules and are in the process of adjusting scripted content. In July one of our newly trained Champions piloted a virtual session adapted to offer content in both Navajo and English.
Join us to do your part to help people living with dementia feel part of their community, and to live as well as possible.
If you are interested in learning more about the Dementia Friends Initiative, participating in a review of the materials, piloting the training content, or attending an upcoming session, please visit our Dementia Friends page by clicking here.
We strive to create culturally relevant content by embracing American Indian and Alaska Native community values. IA2 continuous to convene with a workgroup to consider changes to the content to improve readability and health literacy and identify additional resource needs to complement the initial training.
About Dementia Friends: Dementia Friends is a global movement that aims to change the way people view dementia. By educating communities about what dementia is and how it affects people, we can all make a difference for people affected by dementia. This program has been adapted specifically for American Indian and Alaska Native individuals and communities. Dementia Friends will aid in spreading awareness, reducing stigma, and reducing risk in tribes, urban-Indian communities, and Alaska Native communities.
The Brain Health Academy: Upcoming Educational Webinars
The Brain Health Academy offers free, evidence-based courses for health and wellness professionals on ways to help people reduce their risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Continuing education credit will be offered through a partnership with the American Society on Aging. The courses are scheduled on the second Wednesday of each month and will be recorded. Recordings will be available on-demand for up to 60 days after the live presentation.
The third course, Sleep and Dementia, is on August 17 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET. This session provides strategies to assess the link between sleep and dementia and provides insight into modifiable risk factors for dementia. If you are a nurse, nutritionist, or someone looking to learn more, this course is a must for putting patients and clients on a path toward a healthier body and mind.
* Advance planning
* Aging and Disability Resource Center training
* Dementia training
* Diverse populations and dementia
* Non-Alzheimer’s dementia
* People with dementia who live alone
* People with intellectual and developmental disabilities and dementia
* Person-centered/family-centered care
* Understanding behavioral symptoms
The resource also includes sections specific to first responders, hospital and health care organizations, primary care providers and other health care professionals, and school personnel. The training resources are available free of charge and come from government agencies, academia, Alzheimer’s disease centers, geriatric workforce education programs, the Administration on Community Living's dementia grantees, NADRC, and others.
Plain Language Writing: Tips for Communicating with Your Community
This is a blog post written and re-shared with permission from the UAMS Center for Health Literacy.
Creating Equitable Health Materials through Translation
Providing health materials in more than one language is more than translating and converting words from one language to another while keeping the same message. The high-quality production of materials in a new language should reflect the beliefs and practices of the target audience. So how can we achieve this with health-related materials? If you need help with this, we encourage you to peruse this resource from the National Academy of Medicine which includes guidance on how to ensure that health-related materials are not only properly translated but also adapted for their audience. There are 3 key points that stood out to us and that we recommend you use when creating meaningful health-related materials in new languages.
Use plain language: Plain language refers to using words that are easy to read, understand, and use to improve health. We suggest starting with ensuring your original document is written in plain language. This can help eliminate ambiguity and focus materials on “need-to-know” content, thus strengthening both your original and any adaptations. But you cannot assume that if the English material is easy to read and understand, the translated version will be as well. The translated material will likely only become easy to read and understand if you chose words and sentence structures that promote ease of reading and understanding in the new language.
Adapt materials so they are culturally appropriate: Cultural adaptation refers to customizing the material so it is relevant to and meets the needs of the target audience. To make it relevant to the reader, for example, when communicating about the risk of a certain disease, communicate the risk that is associated with the readers of the material. Or, when communicating about preparing for a doctor’s visit for Spanish speakers, you might include some information about working with an interpreter to meet the unique needs of your target audience.
Test materials with your target audience: We cannot think of a more effective way to find out if the translated material is easy to understand and use than to get feedback from a group of people who will use it. You can use that feedback to improve the translated material and you may even learn things that impact translations in the future.
Producing materials in multiple languages goes far beyond just converting words from one language to other. But this isn’t an easy thing to do, and you may need help to achieve high-quality translation. Working with highly qualified translators, who are trained and have experience with using the language, like those from our center, can help you best communicate with your audience.
Collaborative Care Models to Help Navigate Dementia
Ochsner Health System, serving greater New Orleans, Louisiana, implemented a new Care Ecosystem program in which care navigators provide nonmedical support to individuals living with dementia and their families. Similar to other centers that have developed supportive service models, the program is meant to fill traditional service gaps that drive up health care spending. For example, people living with dementia have higher rates of emergency department visits and hospital admissions than others in part because families are often not equipped to handle the additional complexities that may arise when a person living with dementia experiences a health crisis. Unfortunately, few payers cover these types of care navigation services that support individuals and care partners during a difficult journey. Learn more about how this center and others are working to fill this gap in the system.
Everyone needs social connections to survive and thrive. As people age, they often find themselves spending more time alone. Loneliness and social isolation have been associated with higher rates of depression, a weakened immune system, heart disease, and an increased risk of dementia. However, there are things older adults can do to stay connected. If you are looking for additional opportunities, consider joining a Dementia Caregiver Drop-In Support Group. Be sure to check out the IA2 Calendar of events by clicking the button below.
It is not a typical aspect of getting older to lose things and be unable to retrace your steps. View this 30-second memory loss video to see some examples of what is not a normal part of aging. For more information and resources, you can visit the IA2 website. Click the button below.
Connect & share with other American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Contact us to share Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and brain health community news, resources, information, and promising practices happening in your community or others.
Brain health e-News for and by American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
This e-news is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $348,711 with 90 percent funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.