Studies confirm what we have been witnessing and experiencing in real-time, that racism and other forms of prejudice and discrimination negatively impact wellbeing and can contribute to negative health outcomes including death. For instance, Black Americans and other marginalized communities experience disparities in access to and quality of health care compared to white Americans including in long-term care services and supports. The new coronavirus pandemic has exposed these inequities, yet they are longstanding.
We strive to help bring about systemic change so that each person can have the opportunity to optimize their well-being and reach their full potential for well-being and good health throughout their entire life span, with our primary focus being the often overlooked older adult population.
Our research and work to develop the Preferences for Everyday Living Inventory, (and related resources to inclusively serve all older adults, including LGBTQ+ older adults), reflect the fundamental value we place on honoring individual preferences and tailoring care accordingly. Preference-based living is based on the tenet that we know and understand each person we care for and affirm their full humanity, dignity, and voice. Racism and bigotry are antithetical to this approach.
Through our research and our partnerships with practitioners, we are committed to accelerating and strengthening efforts to understand and honor the needs and preferences of all older adults and their loved ones –especially those who have been marginalized in systems of long-term services and supports.
The Preference Based Living Team holds ourselves accountable to:
- Incorporate diverse representation on our Preference Based Living Team.
- Assure more diverse representation of older adults in our research.
- Conduct studies to understand the care preferences and care experiences of diverse older adults and differences related to self-affirmed race-related, ethnic, sexual and gender identities.
- Create culturally appropriate resources and training for providers in assessment, service and quality improvement practices that reflect the diverse realities of adults who receive long-term care services and supports.
- Infuse trauma-informed practices in assessment and educational resources related to honoring preferences in care delivery.
- Develop quality measures to understand how satisfied older adults are with the way their care preferences are met.
- Highlight the work of groups that advocate for transformation in long-term services and supports systems.
- Deepen relationships with LTSS providers and find ways to support their journey towards preference-based, person-centered care.
Listening to and learning from older adults and their loved ones in marginalized communities — as full partners in our work — is crucial to our efforts to advance equitable person-centered care that honors and affirms the dignity of and respect for all.
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