Support for Alzheimer’s Caregivers in Ethnic Communities
Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating and fatal condition that may be devastating for both patients and their friends and family. Caregivers face a phenomenal challenge when they shoulder the weight of a loved one who is in pain, and the objective of support groups is to provide these brave folks the data, emotional help, and religious support they might need. Alzheimer’s disease has no ethnic bounds, and caregivers from a selection of cultural backgrounds are in need of support. Researchers have found that minorities infrequently use Alzheimer’s support groups.
It may appear that the cultural gap is insurmountable. Up-to-date research based primarily on precise actual examples has discovered a range of strategies for getting cultural minorities into Alzheimer’s support groups. Different cultures view Alzheimer’s disease differently. Minorities may wish support but presume that groups will be adapted to the values and needs of a white population. In order to supply the support that minorities required, researchers had to do more than place support groups in ethnic communities with group leaders who were from the same ethnic background and spoke the same language. They were forced to tailor the structure of the group itself to make different cultures feel supported and secure. First, support group leaders had to go into the communities and find influential members who would not only connect them with key community resources but also act as a recruiter for the support group. The location for the support group needed to be at a neutral location inside the community.
As an example, churches may not be the top locations to hold Alzheimer’s support groups in African American communities simply because church members are generally loyal to their own congregations. The members of the Alzheimer’s support groups, instead of the leaders, should be permitted to settle on the format of the groups. For instance, Alzheimer’s support groups for Black and Hispanic communities were less formal. Food also played a vital role. Hispanics saw food as a source of comfort, while African American citizens from lower income communities targeted on the functionality of food, with different members sharing the burden of supplying it.
By tailoring the Alzheimer’s support groups particularly to the ethnic communities they served, researchers managed to brace cultural strengths and overcome cultural resistance to much-needed support. For instance, groups recognized and supported the custom of intergenerational caregiving in Black families while also providing urgent information about the sickness itself and resources available locally.
Groups also helped older immigrants overcome the resistance they felt towards support groups, considering that when they first arrived in America, some of them had to do everything all alone, without any help from the local community or government. Eventually, groups helped support Hispanics whose culture sometimes sees psychological sickness as shameful. Connecting Hispanics with members of their own community who were facing the same problems made them feel less isolated. Above all, the researchers learned that beginning a support group in an ethnic community needs more private contact, more calls, and more frequent visits for support group leaders to become an accepted and trusted member of the community they serve.