Gunn Tove Minde

Gunn Tove Minde

University of Tromso, Norway

Title: A culturally-sensitive approach to elderly care


Minde is a sociologist, Associate professor at University of Tromso, campus Harstad Norway, Department of Health and Social services. Minde has published books, reports and articles in national and international journals. She has presented papers at many national and international conferences. She also makes documentary about older people in recovery.


This presentation takes a culturally sensitive approach to elderly care. The elderly here are ethnic Norwegians, the Sami Indigenous people and the Kven minorities in the Arctic region in Northern Norway. How can an older person rediscover his or her dignity when they arrive in nursing homes? Cultural values, beliefs and worldviews are anchored in “the living body.” This means that the human’s biological conditions are woven together with life experiences and interpretations thereof. The method in this article is based on case studies i.e material collected by the students during their second year of their bachelor
studies. The most important motivator in rediscovering the older person`s dignity in nursing homes lies in the interaction between the older person and service workers who have a culturally–sensitive approach. This means that the social and health providers see the older person as a complete person, not just his or her body and cognitively impairment. By using a person-centered
care in milieu therapy in the nursing homes, the students were preserving health and continuity in the lives of elderly patients.

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