Our cultural and religious beliefs affect our entire lives, from how we’re raised to how we bring up our own children. It even affects the choices we make as we age. At VMT, we’re committed to providing excellent Multicultural Home Care to our DC residents in a way that respects their individual beliefs and experiences. 

Why Multicultural Care Matters

As caregivers, when we recognize and incorporate their beliefs into the care we provide, we demonstrate respect and build trust. It ensures that we provide the personalized care that we promise our patients. It also reinforces their individuality and importance as people, something vital to strengthening their self-esteem and independence. 

Multicultural Home Care

How to Provide Culturally Diverse Care to Seniors

The first thing to know about providing culturally diverse care is that you don’t have to be an expert in every culture. In fact, you can’t be – nor do your patients expect you to be. Culturally diverse care isn’t about what you know – it’s about how you approach care. 


Always begin your new patient relationships by talking to them and their family about their cultural and religious beliefs. Ask questions like, 

  • How should you be addressed?
  • Do you welcome handshakes or hugs?
  • Are there gestures or conversation topics we should avoid? 
  • What family members do you want speaking for you when needed?
  • Do you have special dietary restrictions?
  • What holidays do you celebrate?

Be Aware of How a Patient’s Beliefs May Affect Care

When you communicate with your patient and their family, it’s important to understand that their beliefs may affect how you provide care. They may have specific ways food needs to be prepared, times they need to eat meals, and rules about personal care needs like washing and grooming. When you ask about beliefs, always keep in mind the kind of care your client expects to receive and ask questions to help you clarify anything you’re unsure about. 

Remember Your Patients Are Individuals 

It’s important that you don’t make assumptions about your patient’s culture or how they practice their beliefs. Consider your own beliefs. Do you follow all of your religious or cultural customs? Don’t assume that your clients always do as well. When you ask questions, make sure that they’re open-ended and don’t include assumptions in them. 

While it is important that we respect our client’s cultural beliefs, it is equally important that we remember that each person is an individual. 

Don’t Let Your Own Beliefs Influence the Care You Provide

Part of respecting the cultural beliefs of our patients is understanding how our own beliefs can creep up unexpectedly. Sometimes this can be well-meaning, as we have beliefs about the type or level of care we should provide. For example, if you were raised to believe that eye contact is an important sign of respect, you could offend someone whose cultural beliefs treat direct eye contact as threatening or accusatory. 

Likewise, sometimes our own beliefs can cause us to make negative assumptions about others. For example, we might believe that certain types of foods are unhealthy, though they may be important to a patient’s culture. 

Multicultural Home Care
Multicultural Caregivers

Remember, you don’t have to understand your patient’s beliefs or even agree with them. What is most important is that you respect them, listen to them about their beliefs and concerns, and ensure that you tailor your care to their needs and what they communicate and not your assumptions.

Are You Looking for Multicultural Care in Washington, DC?

VMT Home Health Agency offers senior health care for Washington, DC seniors. Contact us for a consultation and to learn more about our services.

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