Increasing Dementia Capability in Asian American Communities - Little Tokyo Service Center

Increasing Dementia Capability in Asian American Communities

Increasing Dementia Capability in Asian American Communities

four people stand in front of a research presentation

From left to right: Kristy Huang-Arai, MASM, Dr. Kyong Hee Chee, Amy Phillips, MPA, and Jun Hori.

Increasing Dementia Capability in Asian Communities

by the LTSC Social Services Department

Little Tokyo Service Center staff members were in San Francisco at the end of March to present at the annual conference of the American Society on Aging, the largest association of professionals working in the field of aging. People across many disciplines from all over the United States and beyond gathered to share and discuss key issues and best practices related to older adults.

LTSC staff members Amy Phillips, MPA, Director of Program Administration and Jun Hori, Manager of Care and Support Programs were joined by Dr. Kyong Hee Chee of Texas State University and Kristy Huang-Arai, MASM of Alzheimer’s Los Angeles. They presented findings from the Alzheimer’s Disease Programs Initiative (ADPI), a three-year project funded by the Administration for Community Living that provided educational programs about Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias (ADRD) for Asian American communities, as well as direct services for individuals living alone with and caregivers of someone with ADRD.

Kristy Huang-Arai of Alzheimer’s Los Angeles highlighted the growing need for ADRD-specific services:

“It is estimated that by 2040, the number of AAPIs with Alzheimer’s disease will almost double from 35,952 in 2019 to 69,825 in Los Angeles County. It’s important to educate the community and reduce stigma.”

Kristy Huang-Arai, MASM of Alzheimer's Los Angeles

Over 2,000 community members were served during the grant period. “This project was helpful to our community because we were able to develop tools to raise awareness about ADRD, and encourage people to seek support earlier in their journeys,” said Amy Phillips of LTSC.

“With Alzheimer’s LA, we were able to identify better ways to reach and teach community members about dementia, brain health, and home safety; translate caregiver tip sheets into Japanese, Korean and Tagalog, and update the ones in Chinese; and produce a video series featuring Chinese and Chinese American dementia caregivers and their stories. LTSC staff worked closely with individuals with ADRD and caregivers, and really got to know their needs to provide individualized support,” added Jun Hori from LTSC.

a woman presents at a podium while a panel of three women sit at a table listeningThe project’s significance went beyond the actual services provided – it was an opportunity to create culturally-relevant evaluation measures and gather data about what works in AAPI communities. Dr. Kyong Hee Chee, who oversaw the collection and evaluation of data, shared that, “a key outcome of this collaboration was that the levels of knowledge about dementia, behavioral changes, home safety, and brain health improved after the LTSC and Alzheimer’s LA interventions. This shows the power of in-language education for our diverse AAPI community.”

Creating accurate and relevant translations into AAPI languages can be intensive work that requires knowledge of subject-specific terminology and a deep understanding of the audience. While AI-assisted translation may speed up the process in the future, the work of community-based groups like LTSC is vital to ensure that these resources meet community needs.

Though the grant has ended, LTSC continues to provide educational presentations and facilitate support groups for caregivers. LTSC also continues to collaborate with Alzheimer’s Los Angeles as part of the API Dementia Care Network.

The team has shared materials from their presentation at the ASA conference on Google Drive. To request an educational presentation or join a support group, please contact LASA 2024 – AAPI Alz/Dementia Services, LTSC’s Social Services Department at 213-473-3035 or SocialServices@LTSC.org. Also, please visit Alzheimer’s Los Angeles’s website for information about their upcoming educational programs, caregiver tip sheets in multiple languages and videos.

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