Towards an understanding of the cultural health needs of older gypsies

Pauline Lane (Regional Programme Manager, Joint Improvement Partnership for the East of England)
Rachel Tribe (School of Psychology, University of East London)

Working with Older People

ISSN: 1366-3666

Publication date: 26 May 2010


This paper offers an introduction to understanding some of the issues that health and care practitioners might like to consider when supporting the health and well‐being of gypsy elders. The significance of nomadic life and the implications of planning laws on the reported quality of life experienced by gypsy elders is essential to understanding their health needs. The paper also offers an introduction to understanding some of the aspects of health and social care provision that currently impact on the take up of health and care services by gypsy elders. It then makes suggestions about ways of offering services and working with gypsy elders in ways that are culturally appropriate and respectful of their traditions. The authors had the privilege of working with the Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group as part of a larger national project on working with black and minority ethnic elders to help improve their mental health. The authors do not claim to be experts on gypsy health but are offering to share their learning as an introduction to understanding and meeting some of the cultural needs of gypsy elders when providing health and social care.



Lane, P. and Tribe, R. (2010), "Towards an understanding of the cultural health needs of older gypsies", Working with Older People, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 23-30.

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