This project aims to improve health literacy in Indigenous communities through the development of evidence-based culturally relevant health promotion materials on dementia that bridge the gap between Indigenous and Western perspectives of the illness. The research team worked in partnership with Health Canada's First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care Program (FNIHCC) and consulted with Indigenous elders to utilize a two-eyed seeing framework that draws upon Indigenous knowledge and Western biomedicine. A consolidated review of materials and research involving Indigenous perspectives of Alzheimer's and age-related dementias led to the development of two culturally appropriate fact sheets. Two Indigenous-specific fact sheets were developed "What is Dementia? Indigenous Perspectives and Cultural Understandings" and "Signs and Symptoms of Dementia: An Indigenous Guide." The fact sheets prioritize Indigenous knowledge and pay particular attention to Indigenous languages, diverse Indigenous cultures, and literacy levels. The content uses phrasing and words from Indigenous people involved in the research to share information. Biomedical concepts and words were included when necessary but language or presentation of these aspects were often modified to reflect Indigenous conceptualizations. This project provides a foundation for evidence-based knowledge translation in relation to cultural safety in dementia care. Specifically, the researchers outline how health care providers can develop culturally appropriate health promotion material, thus increasing Indigenous cultural understandings of dementia and health literacy.
Aging Technologies for Indigenous Communities in Ontario (ATICON) explores the technology needs of Anishinaabe older adults in the Manitoulin region of Northern Ontario. Our program of research addresses inequitable access to supportive technologies that may allow Indigenous older adults to successfully age in place.
Using Indigenous research methodologies (IRM) and community-based participatory research (CBPR) we explored the acceptability of CareBand - a wearable location and activity monitoring device for people living with dementia using a LoRaWAN, a low-power wide-area network technology. We conducted key informant consultations and focus groups with Anishinaabe Elders, formal and informal caregivers, and health care providers (n?=?29) in four geographically distinct regions.
Overall, participants agreed that CareBand would improve caregivers' peace of mind. Our results suggest refinement of the technology is necessary to address the challenges of the rural geography and winter weather; to reconsider aesthetics; address privacy and access; and to consider the unique characteristics of Anishinaabe culture and reserve life.
All three partners in this research, including the Indigenous communities, industry partner, and academic researchers, benefited from the use of CBPR and IRM. As CareBand is further developed, community input will be crucial for shaping a useful and valued device.