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Residential and care preferences among Korean-American elders and their children

TitleResidential and care preferences among Korean-American elders and their children
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsShin, D
DegreePh.D.
Number of Pages168 p
UniversityUniversity of Iowa
KeywordsAdult Children, Aged, Aged, 80 and Over, Attitude to Health -- In Old Age, Data Analysis Software, Descriptive Statistics, Employment Status, Female, Gerontologic Care, Health Knowledge, Health Resource Utilization, Health Services for the Aged, Health Status, Housing for the Elderly, Human, Illinois, Immigrants, Income, Koreans -- In Old Age, Long Term Care, Male, Marital Status, Middle Age, Nursing Homes, Thematic Analysis
AbstractThis study explored the residential and care preferences of Korean American elders and their adult children based on the elders' health status: healthy or bedridden. In addition, Korean American elders and their children's levels of knowledge about, and use of, six services were identified: assisted living; adult day care; home care programs; respite care; Meals on Wheels; and visiting nurses. Then, the results of this study were interpreted based on the person-environment fit model.
Data were collected in the Greater Chicago area from three residential settings: Korean nursing homes; senior housing; and co-residence with children. Elder participants were aged 60 years and over. Most of them were female, widowed, unemployed, 80 years and over, and had annual incomes below $6,000. Their mean length of stay in the US was 17.92 years. Children participants were daughters or daughters-in-law, who had resided in the US more than 20 years, and were employed. Their mean age was 50 years. Interview data were analyzed by thematic analysis using NVivo.
The attitudes toward the three settings yielded thirteen themes in three domains: maintaining control, family concerns, and health services issues. The majority of ambulatory elder participants believed that the place where they currently lived was their ideal residence. However, if they were to become bedridden, all except one chose any setting except a nursing home as their ideal. In reality, all of the elders expected that they would go to a nursing home against their preferences. For healthy Korean American elders, family harmony was the main factor associated with residential selections, while for the bedridden elders, caregiver availability, public assistance, and elders' own attitudes toward long-term care services were the main factors. The participants' levels of knowledge about formal services were extremely low. Among the six services, only home care services were commonly used. Based on the results of this study, four domains associated with Korean Americans' residential and care preferences were identified. Results of this study largely supported the person-environment fit model. Future study examining generalizability of the results is needed.
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