CCNA Award Recipient 2016

Care for the aging population in Aboriginal communities is extremely complex and the number of older adults diagnosed with chronic diseases is on the rise.

Sharlene WSharlene Webkamigad’s research will address dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in Aboriginal communities. Her work will focus on developing culturally grounded policies and programs that provide knowledge, disease management skills, and improved quality of life for people with dementia and their caregivers.

Sharlene says,

“Our Elders carry special gifts that are waiting to be opened. They are there to share their stories, to teach their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren about ways of life. Without their memories, we cannot carry on their legacies. Their memory can be strengthened through continuous sharing of stories, humor and laughter. Please visit your Elders on a regular basis to help reduce the growing number of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and to improve their quality of life.”

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Sharlene Webkamigad’s plan of action

The study will

  • provide a model to enable Aboriginal communities to discuss dementia knowledge translation
  • provide guidance on culturally appropriate content and delivery methods

The research will

  • encourage policy and program development in cultural safety, health promotion, health literacy, and knowledge translation
  • provide knowledge, disease management skills, and improved quality of life for people with dementia and their caregivers. Aboriginal health organizations, communities and families will have culturally grounded approaches to talking and learning about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

To achieve these outcomes, Sharlene will

  • Communicate with Aboriginal seniors and caregivers to develop appropriate approaches to dementia education that support Aboriginal caregivers of people with dementia

investigate respectful ways to talk about dementia, dementia knowledge needs and how Aboriginal caregivers prefer to learn about age-related cognitive changes