The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers and Alter Forge Powerful Partnership to Expand Dementia Support for African American Caregivers

The groundbreaking collaboration aims to support African American dementia caregivers through the Dealing with Dementia program 

AMERICUS, GA (March 18, 2024) – The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers (RCI) is proud to announce its new partnership with Alter in collaboration with SageNavigator, a collective group of healthcare professionals that address the lack of resources and awareness around dementia in African American and faith communities, to expand RCI’s dementia programming for family caregivers across the state of Georgia. 

For nearly 10 years, RCI has been a leader in providing resources to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia caregivers through the delivery of its Dealing with Dementia (DWD) program. DWD was developed out of a recognized need for family caregivers to have practical guidance when caring for people with dementia. By working collaboratively with Alter, both organizations will identify strengths, barriers, and opportunities to increase engagement with African American caregivers through a culturally tailored DWD course and guide for African American dementia caregivers, as part of the cultural adaption of RCI’s DWD program. 

“Caregivers of people living with dementia face unique challenges, and they deserve evidence-based resources and supports to meet their needs,” said Dr. Jennifer Olsen, chief executive officer of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers. “It is noted that African American caregivers are overrepresented in the caregiving community but are less likely to have access to formal caregiving supports for their own physical, mental, and financial wellbeing. We are excited to have Alter as our partner in developing a revised Dealing with Dementia program, as we address the gaps in caregiver support services across Georgia.” 

In Georgia alone, there are over 300,000 family caregivers supporting someone with Alzheimer’s disease.  DWD workshops improve dementia knowledge, increase the confidence of family caregivers, and provide practical skills and tips, supported by a comprehensive guide. Since the program’s launch, RCI has trained 800 trainers who have served more than 7,500 caregivers from 41 states and Washington D.C. 

 “Alter is elated to join forces with RCI and respond to the needs of historically disadvantaged caregivers through culturally adapting the DWD program. Too often, African American caregivers are the last to learn about resources and receive education and formal support. We look forward to training parishioners to deliver the updated DWD program in African American faith communities throughout Georgia,” said Dr. Fayron Epps, founder of Alter. 

The expansion and cultural adaptation of RCI’s DWD program will enable RCI to have both a culturally tailored course and book for African American caregivers and a culturally inclusive course for caregivers from diverse backgrounds. This program will be funded by the receipt of $1 million in Congressionally Directed Spending championed by Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02). As an established program, the funds will be used to address findings, incorporate recommendations, and pilot the revised program in Georgia starting in the summer of 2024. 

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