Yes, there is an App for everything these days — including the new free “Geriatrics Cultural Navigator” iPhone App for eldercare workers:
Are you a clinician caring for older adults from different ethnicities? Do you want to better understand the role of culture and ethnicity in health care in order to make better decisions about these patients? Then the Geriatrics Cultural Navigator is just the tool for you. The Navigator offers quick guidance on different cultures — including preferred forms of address, nonverbal communication, acculturation, culture-specific health risks, disclosure and consent, tradition and health beliefs, gender issues, approaches to decision-making, and use of advanced directives.
Developed by the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), this App “reflects our melting pot — providing clinical decision-making support for Americans from a variety of cultures.”
Cultural and racial sensitivity is no joke in nursing home and other eldercare settings and we strongly applaud AGS for developing this App. Although the idea of a multi-culti iphone App may sound trite or overly PC at first blush, a glance at some screenshots from the App shows some pretty useful cultural insight for caregivers:
(Click image to enlarge)
Of course, anyone who has worked in a nursing home has dealt with racial issues related to caregiving and they might point out that it’s often the elders who are in need of a racial-sensitivity App. This news story from McKnight’s Long Term Care News is a case in point:
Racial preference ruling disseminated to state’s nursing homes
All nursing homes in Indiana will be notified of a recent court ruling that declared that nursing home residents cannot specify treatment from a particular caregiver based on race, state health officials said recently.
The ruling stems from the recent case of Brenda Chaney, a black nursing assistant who was prohibited by her facility from treating a patient who preferred only white caregivers.
The AP reports that this decision will likely be the national model for all nursing homes, which are regulated by the federal government.
I’m very curious to hear what our readers think about racial sensitivity and eldercare. Is anyone out there going to download this App and try it out? And what do you think about the Indiana ruling?
H/T to GeriPal for blogging the Geriatrics Cultural Navigator.
Al Power says
I think it’s unfortunate when such choices need to be legislated one way or the other, because it hides the real issue, which is the lack of relationship in long-term care.
Our institutional approach to long-term care creates fears and barriers that naturally lead people to seek the company of those who seem most familiar. What I have seen, however, is that when REAL relationships underlie true care, the racial and ethnic divides absolutely melt away. Our home is full of stories that bear this out.
Rather than say, “You must (or must not) have this or that type of staffing”, we need to ask about what is missing from the lives of people of ALL backgrounds in nursing homes.