203987 Long-Term Care: Aging Gracefully in America

Monday, November 9, 2009

Jason Goldwater, MA, MPA , SRA, International, Inc., Rockville, MD
Darci Graves, MA, MA , SRA International, Rockville, MD
Respecting our elders and holding them in high-esteem is almost a universal cultural value. However, this value has not yet been fully translated in the US Healthcare System. The infrastructure of our long-term care facilities and the capacity of individuals serving this population will soon be stretched to its limits. A training program in cultural competency, based around the principles of the GRACE model, educates both caregivers and administrators about the cultural beliefs of older adults, along with their correlation to a patient-centered model. GRACE brings together the principles purported by leading researchers in the fields of aging, geriatric medicine, sociology, gerontology, cultural competence and long-term care. GRACE stands for Geriatric Competence, Respecting Beliefs, Autonomous and Active Decision Making, Comprehensive Services and Efficient Care. Organizations such as the Institute of Medicine and the US Department of Health and Human Services believes that the understanding and incorporating of the health care needs of elders, based on their racial, ethnic and belief system differences is crucial to improving their health care needs. Incorporating a distance-learning curriculum that educates both providers and caregivers on these differences, and how to create care plans that respect this diversity and utilizes it to provide better, more thorough care, create a more patient-centered approach that moves away from the current, institutionalized model of care.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the racial, ethnic and belief system differences between residents in a long-term care environement 2. Demonstrate tools on how to utlize this knoweledge to develop greater cultural competency and susbequently provide better, more appropriate care 3. Discuss the link between increased cultural compentency and the utlization of this knowledge to move toward a more deinstutionalzied model of care for senior citizens.

Keywords: Cultural Competency, Long-Term Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: N/A

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Over 10 years experience in long-term care; Senior Evaluation Specialist working with the Office of Minority Health on the Cultural Competency curriculums for physicians, nurses and first responders.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.