Attitudes to health and ageing

Attitudes to disability and mental illness may carry strong cultural stigma, as many mental illnesses are not considered as such. Depression and dementia may not be understood with a medical or clinical perspective, which can lead to reluctance in accessing mental health, dementia specific and other specialist services. Community education programs have resulted in growing awareness amongst Arabic speaking communities, but you will need to explore your elder client’s knowledge further.

Additionally, understandings of treatment options may be inclusive of various traditional healing practices. People of Arabic speaking backgrounds may use western medicine concurrently with herbal remedies or traditional healing practices.

Although doctors and qualified medical people are well accepted and respected by Arabic speaking community members, some people of Arabic speaking backgrounds, especially those with poor formal education, might accept the advice of a friend about the type of medicine they should be taking. For this reason, it is important to review medication and determine sources of advice for treatment options with Arabic speaking elders.