The International Association for Indigenous Aging (IA2) as part of a grant project funded by the CDC Foundation supported a rapid implementation direct service project that developed in partnership with HFC and the University of North Dakota’s National Resource Center for Native American Aging (NRCNAA). At the 2021 NICOA Elder’s Conference, pre-registered attendees had the opportunity to participate in official in-person Native Elder Caregiver Curriculum (NECC) training and the Savvy Caregiver in Indian Country training from Dr. Joseph Neil Henderson.
The National Resource Center on Native American Aging (NRCNAA) team, led by Dr. Collette Adamsen, will train tribal Community Health Representatives and aging services staff on their Native Elder Caregiver Curriculum (NECC). The curriculum is notably one of only two interventions specific to the American Indian caregivers. Curriculum development was guided by work with local tribal communities and mindfulness of the historically rich traditions and strengths of American Indians. The NECC curriculum focuses on topics that have been identified by elders and caregivers in rural Tribal communities as being useful in the provision of community‐based elder‐care.
The Savvy Caregiver in Indian Country Trainer Program leader resources are designed for Savvy Program Leaders (aka Trainers) as an evidence-based intervention for working with American Indian and Alaska Native caregivers who care for an elder with memory loss or thinking problems, such as dementia.
One of the main themes of the Savvy Caregiver in Indian Country Trainer’s Manual is to teach caregivers the stage of dementia corresponding to their loved one’s functioning. Knowing how to determine the stage allows the caregiver to use activates and tasks that fit the elder’s changing abilities. The Savvy Caregiver in Indian Country adaptation was developed by principal author, Dr. Joseph Neil Henderson. It is one of only a few resources that is evidence-based and has been adapted for use in Indian country and Alaskan communities.