How to create a more diverse senior living environment

This article was originally written by Morgan McCoy, Touchtown

Serving the unique individuals who live in senior communities is so much of the reason this industry is incredible. But some voices do not get amplified as much as others, and we need to talk about that.

You may wonder why it’s so important to amplify these voices in senior living.

We cannot promise the best care without first understanding and accepting the unique needs, preferences, and history of diverse older adults. Only when we share, celebrate, and acknowledge the differences of our residents can we truly provide person-centered care.

In diverse communities, access to long term care has increased over the last several decades, creating a great opportunity to develop multicultural programming and more. That being said, some communities typically have more varied access to care that fits their specific preferences, budgets, and needs according to federal nursing home assessment data (Feng, et al.). If all communities made the choice to start taking small steps to a more inclusive environment, we could flip the script.

Here are some of those small ways we can create more diverse senior living communities that serve our residents as best we can.

If you’re not familiar with Touchtown, we’re a technology company that serves hundreds of thousands of seniors across the world. We have seen firsthand the impact of expanded programming and storytelling in our partner communities. We’re so proud of the strides our industry has made in enhancing the lives of older adults and look forward to continuing in this journey with you all. Please feel free to reach out to us any time with your own ideas and stories on uplifting diverse elder voices.

Sources

Baumeister, R. F. (2012). Need-to-belong theory. In P. A. M. Van Lange, A. W. Kruglanski, & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Handbook of theories of social psychology (p. 121–140). Sage Publications Ltd. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446249222.n32

Zhanlian Feng, Mary L. Fennell, Denise A. Tyler, Melissa Clark, and Vincent Mor, “Growth Of Racial And Ethnic Minorities In US Nursing Homes Driven By Demographics And Possible Disparities In Options,” Health Affairs 30, No. 7 (2011): 1358-1365.

 

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.