Officially launched January 2010 Collaboration between Oneida Nation of the Thames and Alzheimer Society London and Middlesex™ Funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation Services available to all First Nations individuals within London and Middlesex (including Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, Munsee-Delawares) First Link® First Nations Program: First of its kind across Ontario
Program offers: Counselling Bereavement support groups Dementia awareness Advocacy Memory screening Dementia-related crisis intervention for families Alzheimer and dementia-related awareness and education First Link® First Nations Program A program designed to support First Nations people with dementia, their families and caregivers.
Since August 2009: 645 visits in the home or Health Centre. 138 elderly visits and 497 adult visits. 1,790 people attended Public Education Events and Generation Link programs. First Nations First Link® Program Statistics:
Challenges within Oneida Nation of the Thames and Broader First Nations Communities. • Diverse Aboriginal population in Middlesex County of approximately 14 202 that includes: • Oneida Nation of the Thames (pop: 4930) • Chippewas of the Thames (pop: 2175) • Munsee-Delaware (pop: 517) • Within the City of London (pop: 6580)
Challenges within Oneida and Broader First Nations Communities, Cont’d: • Stigma and mistrust • Individuals and families with complex needs • Other risk factors (ie: vascular and multi-infarct dementias, diabetes and obesity) • Lack of culturally appropriate resource materials and services • No funding or not enough professional staff to meet the needs of seniors and their caregivers • Programs tend to be short-term • Little to no supports and/or respite for caregivers
Challenges within First Nations Communities – Resources: • Challenge: Access to services (Morgan, Crossley, Kirk, Forbes et al., 2009). • Challenge: Culturally Appropriate Assessment tools (Morgan, Crossley, Kirk, Forbes et al., 2009). • Challenge: Prevalence of Risk Factors – Atherosclerosis, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Substance Abuse, Myocardial Infarction, Stroke (Hendrie, Hall, Pillay, Rodgers, Prince et al., 1993; Powers 2005). • Challenge: Awareness and Dementia Specific Education (Morgan, Crossley, Kirk, Forbes et al., 2009). • Challenge: Culturally Appropriate support and intervention services and susceptibility to the abuse and neglect of elders (Jervis and Manson 2002).
Outreach and Home Visits by Robin Shawanoo (RSW) Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) adapted for First Nations Promotion of Brain Health through lifestyle changes, awareness of risk factors by Public Education Coordinator Susan Oster Presentations, community collaboration and partnerships, attending elder’s events Support services – First Link® Learning Series How the First Nations First Link® Program Addresses Challenges:
Awareness and Media Exposure 2010-11: Featured in numerous local and national media including: • Toronto Star • The Canadian Press • Winnipeg Free Press • London Free Press • CTV • CBC radio • Sympatico.ca • MSN.ca • Key feature at Toronto’s National Aboriginal Health Forum Sponsored by Insight.
Final Thought: • “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” -Chief Seattle (1854).
References: • Chief Seattle (1854). Peoples of Wisdom: Awakening Personal and Global Consciousness. 2002-2007. www.sappyr.net • Hendrie C., Hugh. Hall, S. Kathleen. Pillay, Neelan et al (1993). Research And Reviews: Alzheimer’s Disease rare in Cree. International Psycho geriatrics, Volume 5, No. 1. Springer Publishing. • Information Policy and Integration Unit. Aboriginal Population Info Notes. Volume 6, March 2008. Policy, Research and Analyses Branch, MCSS. Http://www.trilliumfoundation.org/user/Docs/PDFs/research/Infonote_Aboriginal.pdf. • Jervis, Lori and Spero, Manson. (2002). American Indians/Alaska Natives and Dementia. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, Volume 16, Suppl, 2,Pp.S89-S95. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Philadelphia. • MOCA.ORG. Montreal Cognitive Assessment. Dr. Z. Nasredine. January 31, 2011. • Morgan, Debra. Crossley, Margaret. Kirk, Andrew et al (2009). Improving Access to dementia care: Development and evaluation of a rural and remote memory clinic. Aging and Mental health. Volume 13, No. 1, January. Pp. 17-30. • Powers, Richard MD. (2005). Alcohol Induced dementia. Dementia Education and Training. 1 – 800 – 457 – 5679.