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Communicating with Elderly African Americans

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Urban areas: 1 in 3 elderly African Americans. lives in poverty (34 ... African American elderly cited these reasons for not. seeking preventive care: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Communicating with Elderly African Americans


1
Communicating with Elderly African Americans
2
Overview
  • Demographics
  • Culture considerations
  • Practical application

3
Growth of minority elderly population
Source AARP
4
Diversity in the African American community
  • Recent immigrants
  • Caribbean Blacks, Africans,
  • Black Hispanics, and others
  • Cultural and language
  • differences
  • Vary in SES, educational
  • attainment, health status, and
  • access to support services

5
Where African American elderly live
  • One-fifth live in
  • nonmetropolitan areas
  • (vs one-fourth of Whites)
  • More than 50 are in the
  • Southeastern states
  • Source National Council on the Aging

6
African American elderly stay in the community
  • Family, friends, and
  • relatives care for the
  • elderly
  • Nursing homes are
  • the last resort

7
Family caregiving
  • Estimated that 5 of the 2 million Black
    caregivers find themselves sandwiched between
    caring for a child and an older family member
  • Caregivers are more likely to live with the
    elderly person and spend an average of 20.6 hours
    per week providing care
  • Source Administration on Aging

8
Education
  • Many educated in US school systems with few
    resources
  • May use folk language
  • Not an indication of intellect
  • Still have facility with standard English

9
Marital status
  • Of Blacks age 65 and
  • older, most of the
  • men are married
  • most of the women
  • are widowed.

10
Poverty status
  • Urban areas 1 in 3 elderly African Americans
  • lives in poverty (34)
  • Nonmetro areas nearly 1 out of 2
  • 46.4 of Black women over 65 in nonmetro areas
  • are poor compared to 15.5 of White women
  • over 65
  • Source AARP

11
Elderly African American women
  • 41 of Black women 65 live alone
  • Of these, 50 live in poverty
  • They are twice as likely to live in poverty as
    their
  • male counterparts
  • Source AARP

12
Lack of preventive health care
  • African American elderly cited these reasons for
    not
  • seeking preventive care
  • Inaccessible services
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Resort to using the ER
  • Spend more time living with disabilities
  • Source AARP

13
Health status of African American elderly
  • African American elderly are more likely to be
  • sick and disabled
  • More see themselves as in poor health than
    their
  • White counterparts
  • Higher rates of chronic disease, functional
  • impairment, and risk indicators such as
    high
  • blood pressure

14
Health behavior impacted by experiences
  • Tuskegee study
  • Forced sterilization of
  • women in their youth
  • Family stories of medical
  • abuse and neglect

15
Practice cultural humility
  • Respectfully admit what we do not know about
  • each other
  • Never assume we know what is best for the
    target
  • population
  • Source Journal of the American Society on Aging,
    Fall 2002

16
Establish a level of trust from the outset
  • Answer questions
  • and concerns
  • Dispel myths and
  • clarify misconceptions
  • Demonstrate interest
  • in the individual and
  • the community

17
Listen and learn from African American elderly
clients
  • Where and how they live
  • Who shares their homes
  • Daily responsibilities
  • Perceptions of their health status
  • Religious beliefs and practices
  • Health beliefs and practices

18
Watch for what is not said
  • Body language and other nonverbal clues may
    provide useful information

19
African American elderly expect to be respected
  • Tone of voice
  • Eye contact
  • Address as Mr., Mrs., or Ms.

20
Focusing on self is atypical behavior
  • Recognize that many African Americans,
    especially women, are not accustomed to focusing
    on themselves

21
Religious beliefs may affect health behavior
  • Some believe in spiritual healing use it with
  • Western medicine
  • May not readily admit this belief
  • Try to assess knowledge of their health status
    and
  • health beliefs

22
Community is key
  • Community relationship building is crucial
  • Establish project as a trusted presence
  • Identify credible gatekeepers
  • Will be found in various settings across the
    community

23
Reach out to gatekeepers
  • Physicians, nurses, and other health
  • professionals
  • Local chapters of national and local
  • organizations
  • Commit time to nurture relationships
  • Close the loop

24
Partner with minority health providers and other
caregivers
  • Educate through professional meetings,
    conferences, and publications
  • May require more time to nurture partnership to
    accomplish project goals

25
Take information to the target audience
  • Go to places where the target audience naturally
  • congregates
  • Social service agencies
  • Hospitals, clinics, physicians offices
  • Beauty and barbershops
  • Grocery stores and local businesses
  • Shopping malls
  • Libraries
  • Restaurants

26
African Americans and the media
  • Preferred media in order of preference
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Cable TV
  • Internet
  • Source US Census Bureau, 2001

27
African American Newspapers
  • Partner with local newspapers and community
  • newsletters
  • Often need additional copy
  • Provide prepared articles and announcements for
  • placement

28
Culturally relevant materials
  • Develop publications in the language of the
    target population
  • Incorporate culturally relevant pictures and
    graphics
  • Include reviewers from target group

29
Keep it simple
  • Write in plain English
  • Use clear, conversational style
  • Limit number of key points
  • Expect readers to take words literally
  • Reader may read slowly, one word at a time, and
  • miss the meaning

30
A picture is worth
  • Use culturally relevant images
  • Depict African Americans
  • Show only the right way
  • Symbols may not be familiar

31
Thank you
32
Communicating with Elderly Hispanic
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