The need to support Indigenous culture & cultural diversity in Ontario Long-Term Care homes
Canada’s population is getting more diverse. As our population ages, Long-Term Care homes will be expected to meet the growing needs of a culturally-diverse population.
Culture is ingrained in individual identity and affects life and health care practices, traditions, values and decision-making. In particular, Canada’s Indigenous people have unique cultural requirements. A legacy of colonization, historical trauma, racism, distrust of western medicine and ways, and sometimes geographic isolation, impact Indigenous people more than other segments of seniors. Respect for treaty rights and jurisdictional issues needs to be considered in planning for care and supporting the culture of this population.
Starting an inclusive, sector-wide reflection
As providers of person-centred care, Long-Term Care homes need to recognize and support the culture of their residents. This can sometimes be challenging, especially at a time when a resident’s health and mental capacity are declining. To help the sector learn about the approaches homes have used, and to understand the types of challenges homes have faced, the Ontario CLRI spent several months in the past year gathering evidence and experiences from around the province.
We worked closely with multiple stakeholders and two Advisory Groups, and conducted a literature review. Our learnings will inform future work around developing tools and resources to support Indigenous culture and cultural diversity in Long-Term Care, and to scale-up existing, successful practices. Stakeholders underlined that any future activity must be in collaboration with various cultural and Indigenous groups, and with a broad range of healthcare providers.
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