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Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging$
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Barbara Berkman and Sarah D'Ambruoso

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173727

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173727.001.0001

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Native American Elders: Unique Histories and Special Needs

Native American Elders: Unique Histories and Special Needs

(p.293) 24 Native American Elders: Unique Histories and Special Needs
Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging

Amanda Barusch

Oxford University Press

Although they represent a tiny fraction of the U.S. population, Native American elders' history and culture lead to distinct opportunities and needs. This chapter examines the status of Native American elders in the United States. Following a brief review of current living conditions, it examines the history of forced assimilation and colonization, and the impact of that history on Native American elders. This is followed by a discussion of service approaches that empower elders and improve their quality of life; and a suggestion that the pursuit of culturally appropriate interventions should begin with the employment of Native American service providers.

Keywords:   Native Americans, aging, elderly, social work practice, elders

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