Community care providers' perception of dementia in Aboriginal seniors: a qualitative study
Gusul, Amy Rowena Ashly
Master of Public Health
SubjectOlder Native people Care Ontario, Northwestern
Alzheimers Disease Patients Care Ontario, Northwestern
Dementia Patients Care Ontario, Northwestern
MetadataShow full item record
Little research has explored dementia within Aboriginal communities in northwestern Ontario; as a result, we know little about the experiences of health service providers in caring for these populations. This research study focused on community care providers’ perceptions of dementia in Aboriginal seniors that reside in rural communities in northwestern Ontario. The study used qualitative research methodology. Eight community care providers were contacted through purposeful and snowball sampling and were interviewed using open-ended semi-structured interviews to generate study data. Eight prevalent themes emerged from the data analysis which was conducted through using the constant comparative method. The emerging themes include ‘Views of Dementia: A Normal Part of Aging’, ‘The Inaccessible Population’, ‘Crisis and Caregiver Issues’, ‘Dwindling Services and Supports’, ‘Housing’, ‘Continuity of Care’, ‘Cultural Sensitivity’ and ‘Bright Future’. The study outlines the experiences of community care providers when caring for Aboriginal seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia and what the care provider’s need to deliver these services. The study is focused on care providers who have lived and worked in small rural and/or northern communities for an extended period of time to best reflect the realities of caring for Aboriginal seniors living with dementia in a small community. This study offers a foundation of dementia research in northwestern Ontario with hopes to guide further research as well as current and future supports and services for Aboriginal seniors living with dementia in these communities. The findings indicate the need for the increase of both formal and informal supports and services in rural and remote communities for Aboriginal seniors with dementia. The research also exposes the need for educational initiatives surrounding dementia and cultural competency among community care and health care providers in rural northern communities along with the need for awareness and education in the Aboriginal community surrounding Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. This study suggests that community care providers and organizations need to work together to provide the most effective person-centered, culturally sensitive care for Aboriginal seniors and to deliver these required supports and services to seniors in a culturally respectful way.