Chosen Family Home Care was inspired to address the unmet and underserved needs of our most vulnerable members of the local Philadelphia population, including LGBTQ individuals and people of color (POC). As America’s population becomes more diverse and as more seniors choose to age in place, the need for culturally sensitive care is vital.
Chosen Family believes that healthcare workers at all levels must have a high level of cultural competence to effectively care for patients. This is particularly true for caregivers and nurses who work with patients at home.
What is cultural competence?
Cultural competence is defined as the ability of providers and organizations to effectively deliver health care services that meet the social, cultural, and linguistic needs of patients.
A culturally competent health care system can help improve health outcomes and quality of care, and can contribute to the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities.
A caregiver who is culturally competent is respectful, curious, and responsive to their patients’ beliefs and preferences. Although it’s impossible for home care staff to know all the nuances of every culture, caregivers can learn how to assess patients’ cultural backgrounds and language skills to communicate more effectively. Chosen Family facilitates this through its rigorous training program which focuses on the highest level of cultural competence and sensitivity for all of our caregivers and staff.
The American population is getting older and becoming more culturally diverse each year. In 2012, around 21 percent of people over the age of 65 were a race other than white in the U.S. By 2030, their share of the population will rise to over 28 percent, and surpass 40 percent of the population by 2050.
Caregivers in the home care industry are also becoming more diverse. For example, personal care aides, home health aides, and nursing assistants are mostly people of color (58%), and 9 in 10 are women. These workers often spend the most time with patients, assisting with activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, and eating.
The diverse racial makeup of both the American public and the healthcare workforce outlines how important cultural competence is between caregivers and patients.