Service provider perceptions of long-term care access in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Description: 

BACKGROUND: The need for long-term care services for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) is great since this population is experiencing some of the highest rates in the United States of chronic disease and disability. METHODS: Between 2005 and 2007, a survey on access and barriers to long-term care was mailed to key informants at 305 tribes and tribal consortia. Targeted key informants included Health Directors, Social Service Directors, Older Americans Act Title VI Directors, and Community Health Representative or Community Health Aide Directors. Survey-adjusted data were analyzed descriptively. RESULTS: Four hundred and forty-two respondents returned surveys representing 220 tribes and consortia. Human services were overall more available than health services. There was a high level of interest for long-term care services among consumers and tribal leaders. Funding issues were the most prevalent reported factors adversely affecting long-term care development. CONCLUSIONS: Efforts are needed to improve AI/ANs access to these services.