Diversity in rural communities: palliative care for the low German Mennonites
Fan, Hai Y.
Kulig, Judith Celene
Rural Development Institute, Brandon University
Multiculturalism is an important concept in Canada although there has been limited examination of its meaning in rural settings. To expand this knowledge base, this article presents the Low German (LG) Mennonites as a case example within a context of providing palliative care to this diverse population which is one of the Anabaptist groups that practice adult baptism and focus on a literal interpretation of the Bible. Findings from a mixed methods study and a graduate thesis conducted within the framework of this study focus on three main ideas to understand the perspectives related to death and dying among this group: faith-based healthcare facilities; family, community and mutual aid; and, keeping the dying connected. Implications of these concepts to health and social service providers are included. Canada has prided itself in being a multicultural country, but there has been little indepth examination of cultural or religious diversity in rural settings. This article presents the research related to understanding death and dying among the Low German (LG) Mennonites as a case example to illustrate the complexity of providing care to a unique religious group in rural Canada. The mixed methods and qualitative research were conducted in both Canada and Mexico. The findings are presented according to the following three ideas: (1) faith-based healthcare facilities; (2) family, community and mutual aid; and, (3) keeping the dying connected. The significance of the findings for the provision of care of this group are also included.
Open access article
Religious diversity , Low German Mennonites , Rural health , Palliative care , Rural community
Fan, H. F., & Kulig, J. (2014). Diversity in rural communities: Palliative care for the low German Mennonites. Journal of Rural and Community Development, 9(4), 246-258.