Labor of Love


Jamie Fry

2nd Year, MPH, Epidemiology Candidate

To everyone’s surprise, I made it back home from Grenada in one piece! My experience started off a little rocky (pun intended) after I accidentally kicked a very large rock and likely broke a couple of my toes… all within 24 hours of us landing in Grenada. Though I sustained some injuries, I tried to stay positive and not allow them to limit or define this trip for me. 

My classmates and I traveled to Grenada to learn more about Alzheimer’s and dementia care on the island. The Ministry of Social Development organized five focus groups and seven key informant interviews for us with a variety of family caregivers, facility home caregivers, managers and supervisors at facility homes, and a public health clinician. I am so thankful to all of our interviewees for being so transparent with us about their experiences. As one caregiver shared with us, this work is a labor of love. It requires patience, kindness, and empathy. It was touching to see how each caregiver expressed these traits to us while answering our questions. 

After conducting our key informant interviews and focus groups, our goal was to provide recommendations for an Alzheimer’s and dementia care plan for Grenada. We identified common key themes across our interviews and developed recommendations that targeted those themes. We considered what training currently exists for caregivers, what kind of training caregivers said they would like to receive, and what resources already exist in the community that could be used to support caregivers. We also considered how to increase the community’s awareness of Alzheimer’s and dementia, how to care for a family member who is showing signs, and accessing available resources for those who need additional assistance. We presented our findings at the end of the week. The biggest takeaway we shared is that any changes must be consistent, long-term efforts. 

I left this trip feeling grateful for the opportunity to learn and hopeful that my public health work will make a lasting impact. Thank you again to the people of Grenada for welcoming us into your beautiful country, the Ministry of Social Development for trusting and supporting us with this project, my group members for their hard work and collaboration, PHAST leadership for their wisdom and guidance, and to Dr. Laura Power for continually checking on my foot.