Redefining the Care Continuum to Create a Pipeline to Dementia Care for Minority Populations.
Multiple studies show that racial and ethnic minorities with low socioeconomic status are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease-related dementias (AD/ADRD) in more advanced disease stages, receive fewer formal services, and have worse health outcomes. For primary care providers confronting this challenge, community-based organizations can be key partners in supporting earlier identification of AD/ADRD and earlier entry into treatment, especially for minority groups. The New York University Center for the Study of Asian American Health, set out to culturally adapt and translate The Kickstart-Assess-Evaluate-Refer (KAER) framework created by the Gerontological Society of America to support earlier detection of dementia in Asian American communities and assist in this community-clinical coordinated care. We found that CBOs play a vital role in dementia care, and are often the first point of contact for concerns around cognitive impairment in ethnically diverse communities. A major strength of these centers is that they provide culturally appropriate group education that focuses on whole group quality of life, rather than singling out any individual. They also offer holistic family-centered care and staff have a deep understanding of cultural and social issues that affect care, including family dynamics. For primary care providers confronting the challenge of delivering evidence-based dementia care in the context of the busy primary care settings, community-based organizations can be key partners in supporting earlier identification of AD/ADRD and earlier entry into treatment, especially for minority groups.