Established in 2014 in response to the need for culturally relevant Alzheimer’s and dementia support for African American community members, the program has now expanded to serve the unique needs of East African (Somali, Ethiopian) and Hmong caregivers, care receivers, and their families. Culturally Responsive Caregiver Support and Dementia Service focuses on building trust and engagement within the community. Their goal is to improve caregivers’ ability to provide care, cope with stress related to caregiving, and localize services within the community.
An estimated 425 caregivers and people living with dementia are served by the Culturally Responsive Caregiver Support and Dementia Service program annually. Programs are offered daily for people living with dementia and caregivers of all ages via in-person (following CDC health and safety protocol), telephone, and video conference. The financial and personal stress that this pandemic has imposed has further increased caregiving stressors, amplifying the need for continued support among diverse older adults, caregivers, and families. The program focuses “on neighborhood-based support services that meet the people served where they are, building on relationships that are founded on trust.”
In response to identified concerns, the organization created and runs the only mobile medical clinic in the country that offers dementia awareness and services, they built a home modification service to allow families to continue caring at home, and they provide an active multi-lingual (Hmong, Somali, Oromo) caregiver support phone line.
A program of Volunteers of America, “for more than 124 years, [they] have closed the gap between people and possibility across Minnesota and Wisconsin.“