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WHATThe Alaska Native and American Indian Elder Program senior health care services to Alaska Native and American Indian older adults including in-home support, information, referrals, meals, transportation along with traditional tribal storytelling as a form of wellness and healing.
WHYTo improve the quality of life of native elders, to address healthcare disparities in the native elder population and to support independent living with dignity and pride.
WHERESouthcentral Foundation. Alaska, USA.

Program Description

“Through storytelling, providers and patients can build relationships while honoring tribal traditions. These stories can be utilized to help motivate tribal members to readopt healthy lifestyles and practices that were traditionally part of their culture.”

“It is through storytelling that each tribe’s history and cultural traditions are passed down from one generation to the next. Stories not only reflect knowledge of communities, they also highlight core values that are important to tribal society. They offer tribes an auditory record of their traditional spirituality and history and can be a valuable tool for emphasizing health and wellness.”

An important part of senior services at the Southcentral Foundation includes integrating culture and storytelling into healthcare. Traditional storytelling and spirituality is used to treat the whole person and foster health and wellness.

Southcentral Foundation’s Aging Well Initiative provides native elders with helpful information tips on important health care topics. Fact sheets provide information on:

  • Why the health issue is important.
  • What signs to look for.
  • Questions to ask yourself.
  • What you can do.
  • Where you can find support and help.

Health care education topics for native elders include:

  • Advance Care Planning
  • Dementia
  • Dental Care
  • Caregiver Support
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Digestion
  • Hearing
  • Exercise
  • Vision Care
  • Fall Prevention
  • Financial Planning
  • Greif and Loss
  • Healthy Eating
  • Heart Health
  • Home Safety
  • Hospice
  • Incontinence
  • Medical Insurance
  • Medication Management
  • Sleep Hygiene
  • Trauma
  • Weight Management

Senior services for elderly include:

  • Hot lunch program
  • Senior Advocacy
  • Information, Assistance and Referral Services
  • Light housekeeping
  • In-home visits
  • Senior Transportation
  • Group Outings and Social Activities

American Indian and Alaska Native elders have historically experienced limited access to quality healthcare and healthcare disparities. The Southcentral Foundation is an Alaska Native health care system providing a variety of health care services including physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness programs to to Alaska Native and American Indian people.

The National Indian Council On Aging

Aging Programs
Senior Health
Senior Medical Health Programs






Find out more about the Alaska Native and American Indian Elder Program

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