Reducing racial and ethnic disparities in health is an urgent goal for Alaska Native older adults. Culturally appropriate health screening may assist in bridging the gap. For example, screening for weight gain, undernutrition, cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, depression, cancer, and cognitive changes would help with early diagnosis of cardiovascular, metabolic, and mental illness.
There are no screening tools for depression and cognitive changes that have been designed and tested for Alaska Native elders. With the nationwide emphasis on preparedness programs, flu immunization and pneumococcus vaccine may help strengthen the Alaska Native elder’s immunity, particularly for those living in urban regions.