Among the rapidly increasing population of older adults, the minority elderly have also been increasing in numbers and are projected to grow at a more rapid rate than the white population well into the next century (American Association of Retired Persons, 1989). This factor, together with the existence of substantial ethnic diversity among both white and minority elders, mandates that our profession examine how we address the associated needs of all older adults who receive occupational therapy services in order to promote optimal performance and quality of life. Rationales for providers to increase personal awareness of these factors as basic contextual determinants in providing services are offered. The inclusion of cultural and ethnic considerations in all interventions with older adults as critical components in the provision of quality service is given, together with suggestions for methods of implementation.

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