Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month which celebrates the cultures and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. AAPI communities are highly diverse and comprised of approximately 50 ethnic groups speaking over 100 languages. One of the fastest-growing racial groups in the United States, the community impacts the numbers of individuals affected by Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Asian Americans who are 65 and older account for 8.4% of dementia cases. The number of Los Angeles’s AAPI population living with Alzheimer’s disease will double by 2030.
Respecting your elders is a significant cultural value and profoundly influences the role of caregiving in many Asian cultures. It is an honor and tradition for many Asian families to personally care for their elders. According to an AARP report, 42% of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders help care for elderly family members compared to just 22% of the general population. The idea of placing an aging family member in institutional facilities is taboo and often creates a sense of guilt. Additionally, a variety of barriers, including lack of awareness, cultural stigma, and language barriers, prevent the AAPI community from receiving a diagnosis, seeking professional help, or accepting social support. Due to these barriers and cultural beliefs, the family care partners often feel overwhelmed which leads to physical and mental burnout.
Alzheimer’s Los Angeles has addressed these challenges by developing culturally and linguistically appropriate materials, education, and caregiver support. While the barriers may not come down over night, we are committed to helping the Asian community raise awareness and better understand dementia. Connect with us by going to our website alzheimersla.org or calling our helpline: 844-437-7259
Champions of Caregiving
In the celebration of AAPI Heritage Month, Alzheimer’s Los Angles is excited to launch a video series highlighting three Chinese and Chinese American families’ caregiving stories. In this series, we see how Michael gains new insight into personal growth when caring for his mother; Eva learns how to better care for herself by asking for support from other family members; Charlotte supports her family caring for her grandfather through a millennial’s lens. The series showcases how families benefit from receiving community and family support. One video will be released each week starting on May 9.