My name is Maria Ugarte-Ramos, the founder of the FAMA Bilingual Center for Family Caregivers (FAMA Center). As a young adult, I became dedicated to prevention by training adults how to stay healthy.
In 2010, I was unable to find Spanish language information or support for my mother who was experiencing memory loss at the age of 85. In addition, our family was unable to find Spanish-speaking home care aides when my mother’s safety was at risk. Furthermore, English only home care agencies charged beyond the means of middle-income families for the type of care we needed. Three months later, finding the right support proved to be impossible. By then, my mother’s condition worsened so our family had no choice but to select English-only assisted living. There was much confusion with memory loss and it became even worse due to the language barrier.
I realized that families across the country must be struggling with the same circumstances. This prompted me to formally investigate how families deal with barriers in terms of caregiving. Eight months later, I completed a lengthy research project that revealed that there were no bilingual caregiving websites. In addition, caregivers have unmet needs including lack of emotional support, which poses a serious threat to their health. I published the report and created a YouTube video, A Unique Perspective: The Silent Voice of Family Caregivers to raise awareness about caregivers’ needs. As a result of my research, I incorporated the FAMA Center as a nonprofit in the state of Illinois in 2011.
My vision is to meet caregivers’ needs with trustworthy information, alleviate stress and build an online community of caregivers to share experiences. I hope this information will be useful to you and your family. I kindly invite you to become involved by sharing a blog, volunteering or supporting us.
Once again, thank you for visiting the FAMA Center!