Los Cuidadores Unidos

Improving the health of caregivers to those with Alzheimer's disease or dementia in Milwaukee's Latino population

Full Project Name:Los Cuidadores Unidos: United Latino CaregiversPrimary Community Organization:United Community CenterPrimary Academic Partner:Zeno Franco, PhD, Family and Community MedicineAward Amount:$199,941
Award Date
January2012
Project Duration:30 months

Project Description Narrative:


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the fastest growing cause of death from major disorders in the U.S. This epidemic has profound economic and social impacts, including a significant impact on the health and well-being of those who serve as family caregivers to those with AD. While caregivers have a strong positive impact on the health of an aging society, research has demonstrated that caregivers themselves are at risk for poor health outcomes. Latino caregivers face difficulties that their non-Latino counterparts often don't, such as engaging in intensive caregiving situations and having to provide greater assistance with activities of daily living. Latino family caregivers are also more likely than other populations to have the added burden of managing their own chronic illnesses as they provide care to their family members.

Through this award, project partners aim to improve the health of those responsible for providing care to Latino family members who suffer from AD or other dementias by piloting an innovative, cultrually appropriate intervention.

Additional MCW academic partner:
Melissa DeNomie, MS, Family and Community Medicine

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:


• Designed and implemented the Cuidadores Latinos Unidos intervention model in Spanish to Latino caregivers, developing the program using a combination of the Behavioral Activation Treatment Model and Family Systems Theory to create an evidence-based program that met the population's needs

• Enrolled eligible family caregivers into the pogram, hosting caregiver workshops to address key issue areas identified by the target audience, including managing medications, safety in the home and support opportunities that were flexible to individual caregiver needs

• Evaluated the intervention to understand impact and gather future recommendations, conducting a focus group of participating caregivers. Results identified a statistically significant decrease in caregiver self-reported depression scores and improvements in caregivers reported social connectedness. Results also indicated that the use of the Behavioral Action Treatment Model and Family Systems Theory intervention are promising best practice approaches

• Shared lessons learned to a wide community of stakeholders, reaching numerous community and academic settings

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