Cultural Competence and Awareness
An ethnic or cultural background is important in the context of a dementia evaluation. Below are resources that provide a starting point and a general perspective with which to understand a person’s norms and values based on their diverse background.
Perception of the individual with dementia is an important component of person-centered care. Cultural sensitivity training is encouraged for all providers to improve their knowledge and care of diverse patients/clients with chronic illnesses, including dementia.
According to the National Institute of Health, “Cultural competence is critical to reducing health disparities and improving access to high-quality health care that is respectful of and responsive to the needs of diverse patients. When developed and implemented as a framework, cultural competence enables systems, agencies, and groups of professionals to function effectively to understand the needs of groups accessing health information and health care—or participating in research -- in an inclusive partnership where the provider and the user of the information meet on common ground.”
Resources for Professionals
Culture Care Connection (online learning and resources center)
Supporting health care providers, staff, and administrators in their ongoing efforts to provide culturally competent care in Minnesota.
Think Cultural Health (web-based resources and tools for cultural and linguistic competency)
Advancing health equity by developing and promoting culturally appropriate services across public health and health care systems.
Cultural Competence (condensed guide)
Understanding a group's diversity, history, culture and contemporary reality toward providing culturally responsive dementia care.
Ethnogeriatrics Overview (peer-reviewed geriatrics curriculum for multi-cultural population)
Choose a culture from the left scroll box and download the PDF. For a quick primer, read the content of these sub-headings:
- Health Beliefs
- Causes of Illness and Approaches to Intervention
- Culturally Appropriate Geriatric Care: Delivery of Care
- Access & Utilization Topics
Diverse Populations, Health Disparities and Dementia (NIA/ACL webinar, July 24, 2013)
Learning about diverse populations and dementia; includes powerpoint slides, audio, transcript and resources.
Improving Care for Populations Disproportionately Affected by Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias (report from the task force on specific populations)
Addressing the needs of specific populations disproporationally affected by Alzheimer's disease with a plan of action.
Dementia Care Network Replication Manual
Creating a service deliver model defined as "an integracy and community approach to ethnic specific dementia care service deliver."
Alzheimer's Association-Language and Diversity for Alzheimer's Disease (listing of website resources)
Providing information on cultural competency in health care in languages other than English.
Resources for Individuals and Families
Alzheimer's Association Diversity Portals (African-American, Hispanic, Asian websites)
Includes resources in multiple languages on dementia-related topics for persons with dementia and family members.
Inside the Brain: An Interactive Brain Tour
Explains how the brain works and how Alzheimer's affects it (available in multiple languages).
Alzheimer's Caregivers (NIH website for people with dementia and caregivers)
Discusses caregiver issues and support in Chinese (traditional), Spanish, and English.