Keith Allen Hinrichsen, a native of La Mesa, Calif., was fully devoted to his family, students and church as a History professor at Cerritos College. After 37 years of teaching, his extended family supported him through his own diagnosis and return of prostate cancer. Upon his death, Keith directed us to support a variety of charities, including programs that addressed the unmet needs of patients with Alzheimer’s through The Hinrichsen-Thorsen Family Health Fund.
Technology as a bridge for caregivers
Southern Caregiver Resource Center (SCRC) in San Diego, Calif., works to help families and communities master the challenges of caring for adults with chronic and disabling conditions like Alzheimer’s. In 2018, SCRC launched “The Puente,” a social media educational program for San Diego County’s Latino working professionals who are also family caregivers for loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s and related dementias. The Puente continues to help increase awareness and connect “sandwich generation” caregivers – those responsible for bringing up their own children and for the care of their aging family members.
Resources available to the community include weekly one-minute bilingual caregiver tip videos; "Let's Talk Caregiving" monthly podcast episodes; Facebook Live caregiver educational classes and video tips on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and the SCRC website; Wavelengths quarterly E-Newsletter; and, lunch and learns at local businesses with a large Latino workforce or Latino affinity groups.
The Hinrichsen-Thorsen Family Health Fund directed $11,500 to help build The Puente technology resources. The bilingual Spanish-English resources are available online to caregivers anywhere in the world.
SCRC Executive Director Roberto Velasquez reflected on his gratitude for the work of caregivers and the communities who support them, saying, “I want to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude for your belief in our mission and your recognition of the herculean efforts of our community’s family caregivers. Even if you are not presently a caregiver, chances are you know one or more of the estimated 44 million caregivers nationwide assisting loved ones.”