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Soc Work. 1996 Mar;41(2):181-9.

Navajo elderly people in a reservation nursing home: admission predictors and culture care practices.

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School of Social Work, University of Arkansas, Little Rock 72204, USA.


Unlike the general U.S. population, which has more than 19,000 nursing facilities available, American Indian communities on reservations have few skilled- and intermediate-care facilities. Also, little research has been done with this population. This article describes qualitative research conducted at a Navajo Nation nursing home in Chinle, Arizona. Events and circumstances resulting in nursing home placement are discussed and illustrated with case vignettes. An overview of Navajo history and traditions provides a context to identify culturally sensitive care principles and practices. Discussion stresses the importance of acknowledging and acting on the significance of culture in all aspects of social work practice.

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