Culture is Important in Treating Dementia

Written by Nicole Scheidl

April 5, 2011

Treating dementia within a cultural context is a small shift that is growing in importance, particularly in native communities across Canada
. In Rebecca Lindell’s article, “First Nation taking a cultural slant on treating dementia”, she highlights some of the important work being done in this area by Robin Shawanoo as the Alzheimer Society’s First Nations First Link program with the Onedia First Nation.

Programming should resonate with the individuals it aims to reach. When individual cognition is impaired it is even more important for the program to be customized to the individual. The individual often lacks the ability or confidence to interpret new or unfamiliar material and place it within a known mental framework. Using culturally significant material is important in reaching not only the brain but the “heart” of the person. By engaging the individual on many levels, successful interactions are more likely to be the result.

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