The Village Program is a continued joint effort of the three non-profit community organizations, CCACC-Mental Health 360, Chinese American Parent Association and Asian American Study of University Maryland. The Village Program aims at promoting the overall well-being of our community by providing education, resource referral and other necessary resources for community members in need. Currently, we are providing services to two populations: children with special needs and adults with dementia.
This program was launched in early 2019 and was focused on helping families with special needs children at that time. We hosted several community talks and seminars which gave opportunities for parents with special needs kids to talk with MCPS professionals, psychiatrists, and community organizations. Our goal was to build a bridge to connect the family in need with the system and resources.
Since 2020, we have seen many families struggling with taking care of their demented family members, especially elders with dementia. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), current estimates are that about 5.8 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, including 5.6 million aged 65 and older. In our community, recently we see many elders' cognitive functions drop significantly due to social isolation or quarantine at home. However, their main caregivers may not be expecting it and not ready for it yet. Most of the family members do not know how to care of their loved one. Therefore, the Village Program starts to provide dementia services to help our community in 2021.
(based on insurance)
In the US, over 6 million seniors over 65 suffer from dementia, that’s equivalent of 1 in 9 seniors. Over 70% of these seniors are over 75 years of age. In our community, there is an increasing number of dementia patients. In addition to the growing number of seniors, many patients are now receiving care because family members are noticing symptoms of dementia.
According to statistics, over 80% of dementia patients are a family member as their caregiver, the majority are taken care of by their daughters. Two-thirds of dementia caregivers are female and a quarter fall into the “Sandwich Generation”, which means they need to care for their elderly parents and their kids. Being a dementia caregiver is no easy task. Not only do they need to respond with patience, but they also need to be prepare for changing circumstances and deal with the stress society places on them. These demands place them at high risk of becoming mental health patients themselves.
CCACC Health’s Village Program looks after the families of dementia patients, helping to meet their needs.