On March 27, 2017, a team of researchers within the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) disseminated the first Indigenous-specific health promotion materials available in Canada on their website, www.I-CAARE.ca.
According to the team’s principal investigator, Dr. Kristen Jacklin:
“Our previous research demonstrated a significant need for dementia health promotion materials tailored specifically for Indigenous families. There was widespread agreement that mainstream materials were ineffective. The process of developing these began in 2014 and involved significant collaborations nationally and locally. Our partnerships with agencies both locally and nationally were central to the success of this project.”
The series of factsheets – developed by Drs. Kristen Jacklin and Wayne Warry – about dementia, memory loss, and healthy aging were enriched by working closely with elder Jerry Otowadjiwan, and receiving a national review by First Nations home care staff (facilitated by the First Nations and Inuit Health Home and Community Care national program).
After Behavioural Supports Ontario – Northeastern Region, Medical Advisory Group – reviewed the materials for alignment with biomedical knowledge, the research team worked closely with a local Indigenous-owned graphic design agency to determine appropriate visual enhancements for the materials.
The four factsheets, and a detailed methodology report, are now freely available to download at i-caare.ca/factsheets:
- What is Dementia? Indigenous Perspectives and Cultural Understandings;
- Signs and Symptoms of Dementia: An Indigenous Guide;
- Preventing Dementia in Indigenous Peoples by Aging Well: Advice from Older Indigenous Peoples; and
- What to Expect after a Diagnosis of Dementia: An Indigenous Person’s Guide
Each factsheet has a blank space for health organizations to add their own contact information, and can be printed on regular printer paper, or formatted as booklets.
The CCNA research team views this accomplishment as one of many steps necessary to fill the gap in health information for health care providers, older Indigenous adults, and families. The Indigenous team is the only team within the CCNA investigating neurodegenerative diseases in Indigenous communities.