Hosted by Indian Country ECHO.
In this presentation, nationally-recognized Native advocate, Dave Baldridge, shares his lived experience of a dementia diagnosis and his wisdom on aging advocacy. He discusses the initial diagnosis, the personal implications, the changes needed to made, and the strategy to cope.
Dave is a nationally-recognized Native advocate for elder issues. Mr. Baldridge has served as the Executive Director of the International Association for Indigenous Aging since 2003. Prior to that he was the Executive Director of the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) from 1992-2002. During that time he published nearly two dozen monographs and papers dealing with long-term care and elder abuse. Under his leadership at NICOA, NICOA became the nation’s foremost non-profit advocate for AI/AN elders. The organization tripled in size while significantly influencing legislation and federal policies affecting or Indian and Alaska Native elders.
Mr. Baldridge has been actively involved in public policy and research efforts on federal, state, and local levels. He has vast experience in the legislative, budget and advocacy process, representing the interests of older American Indians to Congress, states, and tribes. He has testified before Congress on several occasions. He has twice served on the board of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and has been a technical assistance contractor to the Department of Justice Office of Violence against Women, assisting Native program grantees. His accomplishments include leading national advocacy for the Older Americans Act services for American Indian elders. He has authored numerous papers on Indian advocacy, health, demographics and culture. His work has involved extensive relationships with tribal councils and organizations, and sovereignty issues. His publications on a wide variety of Indian aging issues have been widely distributed and cited. He has interpreted Indian aging issues for Congressional subcommittees, federal task forces, state aging organizations, long-term care providers, Indian organizations, tribal- and inter-tribal councils.
In his spare time he volunteers as a K9 handler for Sandia Search Dogs (SSD) in Albuquerque, New Mexico (NM) and deploys on search and rescue missions with his 9-yr.-old border collie. A SAR volunteer for nine years, Dave currently is the team’s President. He served three years on the NM Emergency Services Council board of directors.