The Experience of Asian Americans Caring for Elderly Parents
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This qualitative study sought to examine the experience of Asian Americans who provide housing and financial support for first-generation biological Asian parents aged 65 and older. Semi-structured interviews regarding how participants came to take care of their parents, the impact it had on close relationships and participants' plans, the impact of cultural background on taking care of their parents, and the positive aspects of caring for their parents were conducted with eight second-generation adult Asians in the U.S. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis and themes were organized around the areas of inquiry. Participants spoke about fulfilling caregiving responsibilities out of love and obligation; the positive and negative impact of caregiving on relationships with parents, siblings, and significant others; the challenges associated with their own decreased independence and the difficulty of seeing parents age; the benefits of the instrumental support that they received from parents and closer grandparent-grandchild relationships; impact on financial and housing plans; and the expectation of non-financial care from their children. Despite living in an individualistic society, participants appeared to endorse values of filial piety by taking care of their parents. Further, the participants' hopes that their children would continue taking care of elderly family members in non-financial ways in the future suggests that while they maintain the cultural value of filial piety, it is being adapted to the reality of living in an individualistic society. Limitations, clinical implications, and directions for future research are discussed.
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