LTSS and Dementia
As the number of older adults in Indian Country increases, the need to provide culturally appropriate long-term care to people living with dementia is growing.
Dementia refers to a variety of conditions that affect brain function, memory, and thinking skills. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. The confusion that often accompanies dementia can present unique challenges for caregivers of those with dementia.
Learn more about LTSS and dementia:
Cognitive assessments in Indian Country
Understanding cognitive function is important to providing appropriate care to elders who may be experiencing cognitive decline. To assess cognitive function in the context of diverse tribal cultures and disparities faced by American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs), there is a need for culturally appropriate tools. Some cognitive assessment tools show promise for possible adaptation for use in Indian Country.
Learn more about existing assessment tools:
- Literature review: Tribal nursing homes: Dementia assessment tools in Indian Country (PDF) (487 KB, 14 pp) Describes dementia assessment tools for nursing home stakeholders to use in dementia care for AI/AN elders.
- Report: Best practices: Cognitive assessment tools (PDF) (687 KB, 8 pp)
Reviews cognitive assessment tools and presents several tools for potential adaptation to better fit needs in Indian Country
- Report: Emerging LTSS issues in Indian Country: Cognitive assessments (PDF) (962 KB, 13 pp)
Examines cognitive assessments, cognitive tools, and their use in Indian Country and discusses the challenges, needs, and promising approaches for these tools.
These videos showcase the efforts of the International Association for Indigenous Aging (IA2) around Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
Hear how IA2 addresses the need for culturally appropriate resources on the topic of dementia.
Learn about resources that IA2 offers to help people recognize the early signs of dementia.
Hear about some of the challenges that come with providing care for a loved one who has dementia.
Hear about work on the Wandering Project with the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe in northern Nevada.
Learn about efforts to educate communities about what dementia is and how it affects people.
Hear about resources that IA2 offers to spur creation of dementia-specific tribal laws, plans, and policies.
Hear about resources that IA2 provides to promote healthy cognitive aging across Indian Country.
In the following infographics, see tips for caregivers providing LTSS to those with dementia:
- Webinar recording: Dementia Initiatives and Resources from the International Association for Indigenous Aging
Provides an overview of the national Healthy Brain Initiative, discusses a project to prevent wandering, and highlights the Dementia Friends program
- Webinar recording: Cultural Sensitivity in Memory Care
Discusses best practices in culturally sensitive care for people living with dementia and highlights examples of how those best practices are applied in tribal care facilities
- Report: Tribal nursing homes: Best practices for patients with dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (PDF) (311 KB, 10 pp)
Describes promising practices for providing care to patients with dementia and Alzheimer's disease in tribal nursing homes
- Webinar recording: Tribal nursing home stories—Best practices for dementia care
Reviews how AI/AN communities perceive and address dementia and challenges to caring for people with dementia
- Webinar recording: Touching the spirit through music: The Wisconsin Music & Memory Program
Describes the Wisconsin Music & Memory Program and explores the connection between music and memory
- Webinar recording: Alzheimer's Disease services and supports for tribal communities
Discusses the impact of dementia on tribal communities and the services and supports available
- Webinar recording: REACH into Indian Country: Support for dementia caregivers
Highlights the structure, principles, and results of the REACH intervention, which supports caregivers