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'Tausi Feagaiga: A Project to Train Caregivers and Empower the American Samoan Community

The 'Tausi Feagaiga (Covenant Keeper) project was a partnership to support the traditional values of tausi matua (caring for one's elders). The partners included a non-governmental organization (Pacific Youth and Community Development), a faith-based organization (Roman Catholic Diocese of Samoa-Pago Pago), and an institute of higher education (University of Hawai'i John A. Burns School of Medicine). The project was created to address the lack of community-based health care such as home health or hospice, and families needing to work outside the home. A culturally based caregiving curriculum was developed to educate caregivers and improve their knowledge and skills. Using a train-the-trainer model, 125 caregivers were trained in family caregiving from 2016-2020. Training was conducted through an intensive workshop followed by practicum at Hope House, the Catholic Diocese home for the aged. Participants who expressed a willingness and competency were mentored to be trainers to continue the 'Tausi Feagaiga project. The mean self-rated confidence in caregiving improved significantly from 3.17 ± 1.02 (mean SD) pre workshop to 3.53 ± 0.71 post workshop (P = .001). Competence in geriatric syndromes was improved from 18.04 ± 4.27 to 21.31 ± 4.30 after attending the workshop (P < .001) and the feedback was extremely positive. Technical assistance was provided to obtain funding through American Samoa Medicaid State Agency to improve the existing infrastructure of Hope House, obtain much needed supplies, and increase ability to hire the participants. 'Tausi Feagaiga positively impacted the lives of the residents of Hope House, the course participants, the elders in the community, and those who care for them.




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