Family Caregiving in Diverse Cultures
With Chinese New Year upon us , let us look at the plight of family caregivers from other cultures. In this year of the Ram they need what that sheep delivers – a year of promise and prosperity. With a family caregiver caring for an elder in a diverse culture you may really be dealing a year with no promise or prosperity but back-breaking caregiver burden.
Very different than mainstream American aging families, there is greater respect for elders in most other cultures. With the possible exception of Western European immigrants, most immigrant families strongly prefer family care over institutional care for frail elders. For families from cultures with a strong tradition of filial piety, adult children frequently perceive it as a serious obligation to personally care for their parents without non-family assistance.
This can be a source of considerable caregiver stress when, unlike in their countries of origin, there are few members of the extended family with whom to share the burden of caring for very dependent elders.So many can have no employment outside the home or prosperity. In America women caregivers many from other cultures hold full-time jobs outside the home If the adult children are not able to fulfill the obligation, it may be a source of profound guilt and caregiver depression.