A unified voice for affordable, accessible, quality home care and hospice services.

In-Home Aides: Partners In Quality Care 
September 2022

    This month's topic: CULTURALLY AWARE CARE

    “With continued concerns about disparities in health care, and the need for health care systems to accommodate increasingly diverse patient populations, cultural and linguistic competency has become more a matter of national concern.” (USDHHS office of Minority Health). Being “culturally aware” can give insights into a person’s preferences for care such as how they are approached for personal care, how they dress, how they feel about expressing their emotions, their food preferences, and other personal preferences. First and foremost is to remember that the person is an individual and is at the forefront of what their individual preferences are, regardless of their culture.

    Diversity is all the ways we differ. It is the range of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability, or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, and political beliefs. Everyone represents some form of diversity. A person’s culture helps define who they are and provides uniqueness for them in a society. We all have a certain language we speak, mannerisms, religion, customs, and ideas that we use to function in society. Individuals who share a particular cultural ethnicity or heritage may, through their life experiences, develop a very different worldview, use language differently, or hold values that are not shared by members of their reference group. The person is at the center. Culture is only part of what makes us unique, we also have unique personalities and other aspects that shape who we are, culture is a part of that equation. The reality construct is the way we view the world through the lens of our own culture. What we know from our culture is what we would use to judge what is considered normal. Different cultures have different rules for everyday interactions. For example, whether you should maintain eye contact can depend on a person’s culture. It is important to be respectful of a person’s cultural beliefs.

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    These materials are meant to supplement in-house trainings for direct care providers. All information gathered from these materials should be used within the participant’s scope of practice.

    Please contact Laurie Belden (laurie@homecarealliance.org) if there are others within your agency that should be added to the newsletter distribution list.

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    Questions? Contact Laurie Belden, executive director, at laurie@homecarelliance.org.

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